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Access to broadband networks should be more democratic and guaranteed in rural areas, said Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today following a vote by the all-party industry committee on the trans-European telecommunications networks report.
 
The S&D Group supported a cross-party call to get ambitious funding from the EU and national operational plans to build the necessary infrastructures for all EU citizens and industries to benefit from high-speed broadband networks.
 
Euro MP Catherine Trautmann, spokesperson on the report, said:
 
"Investments in telecommunications and high-speed broadband networks are needed to become more competitive and to create jobs. This sector is fundamental to creating quality jobs in the telecommunications industry (as well as civil engineering) and to develop the technical competences for the exploitation and maintenance of these infrastructures."
 
"Internet connection speeds are becoming ever quicker. It is appropriate that our target for all EU households' internet connections should be above 100 Mbps or connections that tend to 100 Mbps, as soon as possible.
 
However, aware of the geographical realities and the difficulties for member states to reach this target, Catherine Trautmann stated that when negotiating with the Council, "any measures adopted should at least ensure that the objectives of the Digital Agenda of the European Commission are reached.
 
She insisted that "actions must not focus only on big cities and businesses, but also in rural communities, who are dramatically suffering from a lack of investments."
 
Euro MP Teresa Riera, S&D spokesperson on industry, said:
 
"High-speed broadband and access to digital services is key to economic growth, job creation, competitiveness and social inclusion. No one must be left out of the digital revolution.
 
"New technologies boost creativity, new industries and new kinds of jobs in a digital era."
 
After today's vote in the industry committee, representatives of the Parliament and the Council of Europe will have to negotiate on a final text.
 
 
Victoria Martín de la Torre
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