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EU launches affordable superfast broadband plan across Europe

The European Commission (EC) has signed a document containing measures intended to cut costs in the rollout of superfast broadband across the EU.

Work on the agreements first began two years ago, with co-legislators agreeing the final measures in February this year.

The document outlines four main areas of best practice: enhanced facility sharing, more efficient coordination of civil works, faster and simpler permit granting and equipping new builds with high-speed Internet infrastructure.

According to EC regulation and business head Wolf-Dietrich Grussmann, the new rules have the potential to lead to 20-30 per cent more high-speed broadband deployment.

“The digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of economy. Much of this growth has been fuelled by broadband Internet,” claimed Grussmann.

“The development of high-speed networks today is having the same revolutionary impact as the development of electricity and transportation networks had a century ago.

“I am confident that this piece of legislation will contribute that every euro invested in network development has maximum impact,” he added.

Grussmann has also claimed that the new measures will not only make broadband cheaper, but will also ensure that high-quality Internet can reach even the most rural of areas.

He predicts that providers will now be able to make between €40-60bn (£32-48bn) of savings, allowing them to spend more on reaching out to areas otherwise too costly.

EU member states will have until 16 January 2015 to implement the new measures, but the EC is urging countries to start making the necessary changes now.