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Neelie Kroes highlights need for broadband investment
European commissioner Neelie Kroes has pointed out the benefits of super-fast broadband access.A ten per cent increase in broadband penetration leads to a rise of up to 1.5 per cent in European growth, according to the European Commission's digital agenda vice president Neelie Kroes.
Speaking at a high-level conference on the digital agenda, Ms Kroes said this highlights the importance of investment in next-generation fixed-line and wireless broadband networks.
Under its current targets, the EU is looking to deliver universal super-fast broadband coverage by 2020.
Improving wireless connectivity requires making more efficient use of radio spectrum and overcoming some of the hurdles that currently stand in the way of rollouts, she explained.
For instance, the commissioner called for the eradication of cumbersome procedures - such as making it restrictively difficult to get hold of construction permits - that mean "digging for new networks can't even start".
"To compete as a global force, we need coherence, cooperation and economies of scale. So that when people think of Europe, they know they're getting a good place to do digital business," Ms Kroes commented.