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EU's Kroes hopes TV demand will drive broadband investment

25 января 2012

The European Union will set out plans for online television and the boost it could bring to broadband investment in the course of this year, its digital strategy chief said Tuesday.

"It will consider how Europe can realise the opportunities--and of course, how it can meet challenges too," EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said at the IP Forum at the European Parliament. "Within just two to three years, 90% of the TVs sold in Europe will be connectible to the Internet...Already, half of European consumers use video-on-demand several time per week."

She said the paper would tackle subjects including technical standards, rules on advertising, protection of minors and promotion of European works, and ensuring high-quality broadcasts. It could also be the key to ensuring investment in high-speed broadband, a tenet of EU policy that has so far failed to materialize.

 "For broadband suppliers, there would be a leap in demand for bandwidth-heavy services, a leap that will seal the business case for investment in high-speed broadband networks," Kroes said, according to the text of a speech."And for suppliers of content, a chance to target what consumers are demanding--and give them a very attractive alternative to illegal material."

The EU will also set out a cloud computing strategy by summer, she added.

She followed up comments made last week about anti-piracy legislation in the U.S., saying that reconsidering the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act is a wise move.

"As regards legislation to combat piracy, I have said on a number of occasions that we should not put in place disproportionate and highly intrusive measures with the potential to disrupt legitimate online activities," she said."Therefore I think the U.S. legislators have done the right thing by making a pause and seeking a better anti-piracy solution than the SOPA and PIPA [Protect IP Act] bills which were on the table."

Kroes added that a simplification of copyright rules in the EU is "urgently needed" and that it is time to press ahead with new rules for collective rights management, the system under which royalties are paid.
"We don't need another round of discussion, I don't believe in eternity," she said."We need a directive on collective right management."

Источник: Total Telecom

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