Skype in the EECC: Suffocating a European success story or allowing others?

Skype represents a remarkable European success story. Founded in Estonia by a Swede and a Dane, it unlocked free and low-cost communications for the entire world. It is a perfect demonstration of what Europe hopes to achieve; a true digital single market player. Today, 500 million Europeans from Poland to Portugal can enjoy how Skype, and other Internet-based messaging services, allow them to send messages, make video and voice calls, … Read more »

Building a cloud for global good

Today Satya Nadella and I are in Dublin. It’s the first stop on a trip that will also take us to Paris and Berlin, with Satya also visiting London. We’re spending this week meeting with customers, partners, developers and government leaders. We’ll talk about how the Microsoft Cloud is driving the transformation of businesses and industries across Europe and around the world. We’ll talk about how our customers have harnessed … Read more »

Setting the right framework for future-driven e-communications in Europe

Today the Commission announced the new European Electronic Communications Code, the long-awaited reform to the EU’s regulatory framework for electronic communications, a central pillar of the Digital Single Market. Over the past years, affordable and nearly ubiquitous connectivity has led to the emergence of innovative internet-based services, including new kinds of communications applications such as Skype, Viber,, FaceTime, Google Voice or WhatsApp, providing greater choice for Europeans from Prague … Read more »

Spectrum: A Stepping-Stone for the Digital Economy

When in 1865 Scottish mathematical physicist James Clerk Maxwell predicted the existence of electromagnetic waves which could propagate through free space – otherwise known as radio waves – he could never have imagined how one day these would be used to connect up his countrymen. Today, wireless technologies lie at the heart of our everyday lives – enabling everything from basic communication to life-saving medical implants, video games to weather … Read more »

Connecting a Continent – Today, Tomorrow and Beyond

The videoconference call is cancelled due to “technical difficulties”, running your small business from home is impossible due to patchy network access, and a planned movie night is slowed down by Netflix buffering every few minutes. Most of us will be familiar with one or more of these scenarios deriving from poor, unreliable or costly digital connectivity. 65% of European citizens currently have access to fast next-generation broadband, but this … Read more »

Sharing Spectrum for Better Broadband

Last week marked a turning point for wireless communication in Europe. Ofcom, the UK’s independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, has decided to enable industry access to TV white spaces (TVWS) – the gaps between radio spectrum in frequency bands which are usually exclusively used for television transmissions. Ofcom’s decision is a significant one because at the moment there simply isn’t enough capacity in the radio … Read more »

The New Commission and Net Neutrality

The last few weeks have been pretty exciting for those of us in Brussels. We watched with great interest as President-Elect of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, unveiled his proposed team for the new Commission, including both a Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society and a Vice-President with responsibility for the Digital Single Market. These are promising signs that Mr. Juncker recognizes the tremendous social and economic benefits that technology … Read more »

Revolutionizing Communication through Spectrum

The appetite for new online services, smartphones, wireless devices and ubiquitous connectivity is on the rise across Europe. Meeting this growing demand is a significant challenge for telecoms regulators, who stand watch over the most coveted digital resource: spectrum. These radio frequencies, which allow communication over the airwaves, are considered to be a key asset for the European digital economy. They are managed by governments, who license different individual frequency … Read more »

At last: The European Parliament votes for unambiguous protection of net neutrality in law

The open character of the Internet, or “Net Neutrality”, is like water or electricity in the digital age. It is the principle that “all internet traffic is treated equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference, independent of its sender, receiver, type, content, device, service or application” according to a new definition voted by the European Parliament today. As the Parliament explained, safeguarding net neutrality is essential because “the internet’s open character … Read more »

Convergence and the Future of Media: neutrality and ‘digital fitness’ the best way to promote content creation and dissemination and protect fundamental values

Even five years ago, high-definition, high-quality video content was not being delivered over the Internet. Now there is a flurry of providers which enable us to access a broad array of video content, whenever and on whatever broadband Internet-enabled device we want.To a good extent, we have to thank the light regulatory touch in the Audio-Visual Media Services framework, which has seen the online market and innovation flourish, while traditional … Read more »