EU members have reached agreement on a draft directive aimed at reducing the cost of rolling out broadband networks. Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said the agreement between the European Parliament, Commission and Council on the text of the legislation will lead to significant savings in the cost of civil engineering. The Commission proposed in March 2013 the new rules, which it says can save up to 30 percent on the cost of roll-out. The European Parliament will vote the formal approval of the agreement in April, and the Council of Ministers will follow in June.
The legislation aims to ensure that all new buildings or those undergoing major renovation are equipped for next-generation broadband, standard access on reasonable terms is available to all infrastructure (such as existing ducts, conduits, manholes, cabinets, poles, masts, antennae installations, towers), network operators are allowed to negotiate access agreements with other infrastructure providers, and the process of granting permits, especially for masts and antennas, is simplified and shortened to a maximum six months.