The European Commission is calling for daily fines on EU members Belgium, Croatia and Slovakia for not adopting a broadband directive designed to make network deployments cheaper.
Member states had to transpose the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive into national law by 1 January 2016, but these three failed to do so.
The Commission says the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive can “save up to 30%” on high-speed internet roll-out costs. It includes rules such as the re-use of existing physical infrastructure, including ducts, masts and towers. The directive also covers the coordination of civil works across sectors like telecoms, energy, water and transport.
Civil engineering, such as the digging-up of roads to lay down high-speed broadband, “accounts for up to 80% of the cost of deploying broadband networks”, the Commission says. It adds that the directive is a key plank of its Digital Single Market strategy by increasing high-speed connectivity.
The Commission says it will now call on the European Court of Justice Court to impose a daily fine on the three, from the day of the judgement until the directive is in force in their national law. The infringement proceedings were opened against Belgium, Croatia and Slovakia in March 2016, and the “reasoned opinions” were sent to these proceedings in September 2016.
“These member states have not yet notified the Commission on the adoption of all measures necessary in order to transpose the directive,” said the Commission. “In the case of Croatia, the Commission received reassurance that the last missing element of the transposition would be formally adopted this Friday [14 July].”
If Croatia's directive adoption effort is accepted by the Commission it will avoid any fines, said the Commission.