Press Release: 2030 Path to the Digital Decade: An Opportunity to Build Back Better

Brussels, 16 September 2021 – ESOA welcomes the spotlight on digital and connectivity in yesterday’s State of the Union address.

It is encouraging to see that as Europe we are moving from words to actions. The proposed 2030 Policy Programme “Path to the Digital Decade” is a step forward in acknowledging that ‘excellent and secure connectivity for everybody and everywhere in Europe including in rural and remote areas is needed.

The “Path to the Digital Decade” encourages pan-European collaboration, strengthens the need for certainty in spectrum regulation and underscores the importance of connecting all Europeans by 2030. Commissioner Breton’s Secure Connectivity Initiative will be an important part of solving the latter problem with satellite being the only technology that will enable Europe’s circa 5m unconnected households to join the digital era and enable the EU vision of 5G as a Network of Networks to become reality.

ESOA urges caution when moving forward to overcome challenges that risk preventing Europe from achieving its connectivity goals. As we ‘build back better’, pragmatism in terms of time-to-connect and the economics of enabling connectivity solutions is required. Europe’s digital transformation will depend on a variety of technology solutions working in concert together. Member States must avoid picking winners amongst technologies and in the wake of the Pandemic, should take a realistic, cost-effective, and time-efficient approach to ensuring complete connectivity for their citizens.

Aarti Holla-Maini, ESOA Secretary General: “Europe has the tools and expertise to provide meaningful connectivity to everyone, but this will only happen if the vision for the future is a mix of technologies”.