The European Digital strategy
Digital services are one of the European Union's seven flagship initiatives under its Europe 2020 strategy. The initiative, called "A Digital Agenda for Europe" and adopted on 31 May 2010, highlights the difficulty for companies, in particular, to operate in a European market which is mainly the aggregation of many different national markets. It defines a number of key areas, such as the creation of a single digital market or the bolstering of internet security through the fight against cyber-criminality.
Furthermore, the formation of a small number of Pan-European operators has been proposed by the Commissioner, who believes such a development could have a positive impact on investment and innovation. The Digital Agenda also aims at developing a European cloud computing strategy. A European cloud computing partnership was already launched in February 2012, whose aim is to promote cooperation between public authorities and companies in the sector in order to overcome the problems encountered by institutions and the private sector in the new technology.
In practice, one of the Digital Agenda's main objectives is to expand broadband and very-high-speed broadband services in the period up to 2020. The targets are ambitious; speeds of 100 Mbit/s for half the European population, and of 30 Mbit/s for every citizen by 2020. The roll-out of optical fibre is therefore fundamental to achieving these targets. In her recommendations for the roll-out of optical fibre Nellie Kroes, Commissioner in charge of the Digital Agenda, suggested that the unbundling rate not be cut until 2020.
Bouygues group's support for the EU's Digital Agenda
In order to back up its support for the Digital Agenda's very-high-speed internet roll-out targets, Bouygues Telecom signed a joint investment agreement for the roll-out of optical fibre with France Télécom-Orange on 17 January 2012. In addition to the two previous agreements with SFR and Numéricable, this agreement underlines Bouygues Telecom's commitment to rolling out very-high-speed services in France. The operator will thus be able to market its offers to more than 13 million households. By investing more than €100 million every year on rolling out fibre, Bouygues Telecom is therefore delivering on its aim to become a key player in the very-high-speed broadband market.