Next week, Telecommunications Ministers will likely discuss the Digital Networks Act (DNA), which has recently been suggested by Commissioner Thierry Breton. In the DNA, there are concerns that the funding of network infrastructure may be addressed. Public service media rely on excellent connectivity and services to reach audiences. The existence of a reliable infrastructure means that they can invest in quality programming for all audiences. Adding additional investment into the upkeep of the network would clearly be detrimental, diverting public funds away from public service media’s core purpose: the creation of quality of programming.
Wouter Gekiere Head of the EBU’s Brussels Office, said: “In the lead up to the meeting of Telecom Ministers, the EBU and our Members remind lawmakers that, if there is to be a Digital Networks Act, there must be strong opposition to network fees. We find that the current Internet delivery model works well and remains key for securing access to diverse and pluralistic content. A further concern is that imposing network fees based on data traffic undermines the 2015 EU Open Internet rules.”
An additional factor that comes into play within the DNA is how spectrum use is decided. Spectrum management policy to promote cultural and linguistic diversity and media pluralism, including the provision of broadcasting services, should remain a decision taken at national level. National lawmakers are best placed to accurately assess the needs of services funded at national level for domestic public service missions.