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EU wades into broadband debate - PC Retail

EU wades into broadband debate

Price regulation could be imminent if Union finds lack of competition
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The European Union is mulling proposals that could see it regulating the pricing of broadband in its 27 member states in a similar way to how it currently regulates mobile phone roaming charges.

The motion has come about mainly due to problems consumers face in the EU's new member states where providers formed from former telecom monopolies still dominate the majority of connections and lack of competition has led to high prices

"It is unacceptable that the gap between the strongest and weakest performers in Europe is growing. Europe must act now to get its broadband house in order. I will make specific proposals on this as part of our package of reforms for the E.U. telecom rules on 13 November," said telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding.

However pressed on the issue of whether or not the EU would intervene to force down prices, Martin Selmayr, a spokesperson for the office of Reding said: "Prices play an important role, but price regulation should only be a last resort."

The impact on UK providers will be unclear, however it may see BT forced to further lower its exchange pricing.

The news comes just days after OFCOM announced an investigation into broadband speeds in the UK.

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