EU digital chief says single telecoms market on the way

Neelie Kroes
Kroes says she's not retiring until job's done

The European Commission is looking for ways to ensure telecoms providers can compete with each other throughout Europe, rather than in a bunch of national markets.

Neelie Kroes, Vice President responsible for the Digital Agenda, said in a speech at the European Business Summit that she wants to knock down barriers to a single EU market, and that the European Commission is working on proposals to make it happen.

She didn't provide any details, but claimed she has no intention of retiring until the job's done.

Roaming charges

Kroes said that, with operators currently confined to providing services for individual countries, they are not reaching their full potential to innovate and businesses are facing extra costs. She pointed the finger in particular at roaming charges.

"Today many businesses find roaming charges a costly irritant," Kroes said. "That will be yet worse in a world of machine to machine communications, where everything is connected, from your car to your wallet."

The move would have an influence on the broadband market. She said telecoms and cloud computing were among the areas that could be sharply affected by a single market, and that small businesses are growing twice as fast when they are operating online.