Europe needs to invest more in digital infrastructure: Commissioner

  • 01.09.2016, 18:10,
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Europe needs to invest more in digital infrastructure: CommissionerEuropean investment in digital infrastructure should rise to $800 billion if it wants to catch up with the United States and China, Guenther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, said on Thursday.

If Europe can't develop fiber-optic networks and next-generation high-speed 5G wireless applications and networks fast enough, "we will lose, because important technological applications will not be possible any longer in our industry," Oettinger said.

"Investments of 600-700 billion euros ($670-780 billion) are needed in the European area, according to our calculations," Oettinger said at a panel at the European Alpbach forum, an annual conference in Austria.

These investments should include Switzerland, Ukraine and the western Balkans which are part of the pan-European infrastructure, he said.

Oettinger said Europe needs unified digital standards because this was the only way to meet the competition with digital giants such as Amazon and Google.

"In less than two years we will have one European legislative standard and a balance between data protection and the right to use the data," he said concerning European-wide data regulation.

"We have to bundle our European strength we have at universities and in the industry, or our 28 silos will be not strong enough to compete with Silicon Valley and the Chinese," Oettinger added.
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