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Report on Broadband adopted in Committee

The main focus in the report is innovative capacity, new technologies as well as the supply of e-services to European citizens. There is also a linkage to the scarce resource of radio spectrum, for which the demand increases with more widespread wireless high technology solutions.

The European Union’s Structural and Regional funds can play a complementary role in the support of broadband deployment in certain regions, however it is underlined that the use of such should be permitted only in under-served areas where it is clear that there are no other sources of investment in broadband infrastructure. Where public funding is being used the rules on State-aid are to be strictly applied. Furthermore the Commission is encouraged to provide guidance and disseminate good practice on the observance of State-aid rules as well as to provide adequate and updated statistics on broadband penetration across Europe.

The five compromise amendments that had been agreed between the rapporteur and the shadow rapporteurs from ALDE and PSE where all adopted in the committee. These emphasise the need for technological neutrality, the competitive and innovative dynamics of a liberalised market, how to apply remedies to address abuses of dominant positions as well as the upcoming review of the Regulatory Framework. The committee also adopted a compromise made between the EPP-ED Group and the ALDE Group on the positive advantages of functionally unbundling access networks of market incumbents from their operating activities. The report was adopted with a wide support of 42 votes out of 44 casts, with 2 abstentions. It will be voted in plenary in Strasbourg in June.