GIGAEurope, the successor to trade body Cable Europe, has made its debut online with a call for continued investment in very high-capacity networks to connect all Europeans to 1Gbps networks by 2025.
Speakers lost no time in calling for a level playing field in telecoms regulation, where founders Liberty Global and Vodafone are competing with both incumbent telcos and new challengers looking for a taste of the fibre market.
“Our purpose is to become a trusted partner to policymakers and the strong voice of the gigabit connectivity industry,” said GIGAEurope managing director Irina Varlan.
The need for faster networks has been underlined by the coronavirus pandemic, which has increased network occupancy through home working, online learning, remote healthcare services and digital public services.
Joakim Reiter, group external affairs director, Vodafone Group told his online audience that Europe is a distance from reaching its Gigabit society goals for 2025. Reaching the target of 1 Gbps for all European households required a concerted effort. “A mix of gigabit technologies, mobile and fix, is needed,” he said.
According the research from OMDIA, the impact of COVID-19 and lockdowns throughout Europe on the use of online services has resulted in a 200% increase in internet telephony and online videoconferencing; a 75% increase in online gaming; a 50% increase in video streaming and a 30-40% increase in VPN traffic.
“Giga Europe has an extremely important role to play as we shape a regulatory environment that will help Europe reach its full digital potential. Policy that is clear, balanced and technology neutral,” said Mike Fries, CEO Giga Europe.
Fries called for the consumer to be put first “by prioritising gigabit speeds, continued innovation and access for all seamless gigabit connectivity”.