Italian telco calls for EU action on single digital market

CEO of Italtel calls for concerted action to create a single digital market in the EU to stimulate investment in next-gen networks, and meet the goals of the European Digital Agenda

At the Digital Venice conference in Italy, Stefano Pileri, CEO of Italian telecoms firm Italtel, has called for greater collaboration and investment in network development across the EU, including the creation of a single digital market.

The Digital Venice conference, held in July, has brought together senior figures from around Europe, including European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes and policy, industry and innovation leaders, to “trace the road to a growing, sustainable digital economy”.

Pileri’s remarks formed part of the Venice Declaration, unveiled at the event with the aim of building renewed confidence in European institutions and defining what still needs to be done to achieve the goals of the European Digital Agenda 2020.

Pileri spoke of the need for a single set of rules for the whole of Europe to stimulate investment across a market that he described as “fragmented and hampered by regulation”.

He added: “The rules must be pro-business, encourage investment and ensure a fair return, especially in regards to fixed and mobile access – LTE/LTE Advanced/5G – network investment.” 

He called for greater partnership between the public and private sectors, and national governments and the EU, comparison programmes and cultural exchanges to share best practice, and more in-depth monitoring of where and how EU funding is spent.

Pileri also urged Brussels to implement clear R&D policies around big data, cloud and the internet of things, and reconfirm its goal of developing a superfast broadband infrastructure across Europe, as defined by the Digital Agenda.

“We need to recognise the value of differentiation of quality of service and quality of interconnection, while also ensuring net neutrality, because they represent an accelerator of value and act as a catalyst for investment,” he said.

“Digital technologies, processes and skills are the X-factor we must rely on to regain competitiveness, restart growth and create new jobs. The Digital Agenda is the cornerstone of the policies for growth that Europe wants to implement and consequently public European and member states’ funds should not be considered in the ‘fiscal compact’ principle.” 

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