26 May, 2021
This event was organised with the support of the Permanent Representation of Portugal to the EU. The programme featured a keynote speech by Hugo Santos Mendes, Deputy Minister for Communications, Portugal.
Panel speakers represented the European Commission and the connectivity industry:
The panel, moderated by Samuel Stolton, Freelance EU Correspondent, had a discussion on:
Deputy Minister for Communications Portugal
“In order to become digitally sovereign and to make autonomous technological choices, the EU must strengthen not only its internal connectivity, but also empower its strategic international links. Europe cannot become an island in the digitally connected ocean.”
Director Connectivity, DG CONNECT European Commission
“I would highlight the need for the public and private sector to work together. We are on the threshold of a completely new time – partly under the influence of 5G – where cloud infrastructure and edge computing will be very important. We are of the strong conviction that Europe will not play its role in these new areas if we don’t have a performing and effective telecom network structure.”
Group Head of EU Affairs and Relations Vodafone Group
“We support the European Commission’s ambitious digital decade targets, which we believe coupled with the €672.5 billion Recovery and Resilience Faculty presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the digital and green transformations of the EU. But to be successful, we must clearly acknowledge our starting point and urgently address the growing connectivity infrastructure investment gap. With targeted measures and pragmatic policy reforms, which can crowd in public-private investment, this can be achieved.”
Vice President Regulation Liberty Global
“Gigabit connectivity drives growth in every part of the European economy, directly benefiting European consumers. The recovery from the pandemic gives Europe the opportunity to emerge on the other side of the crisis as a greener, more digital and more competitive society. In order to achieve these goals, it’s more important than ever for Member States to implement the best practices for accelerating deployment of very high capacity networks as outlined in the EU Connectivity Toolbox and to legislate as efficiently as possible.”
Managing Director GIGAEurope
“Over the past decade, connectivity providers have continued to invest in network roll-out and innovations to allow for ubiquitous fixed-mobile access, faster speeds and lower latency. To close the investment gap, Europe needs a mix of private investment and public funds in the coming years.”
GIGAEurope members provide reliable and secure gigabit-speed connections to customers across Europe. Our members serve around 40 million fixed broadband customers and 130 million mobile customers spanning across Europe. GIGAEurope is open to associate members from the connectivity and content sectors, in addition to industries and organisations from the wider digital economy.