From Dr Roslyn Layton.
Sir, With regard to Joanna Shields’ article “Europe must not try to regulate the internet” (September 24), instructive lessons can be drawn from the European experience for internet infrastructure investment.
In a measure of the top 25 internet companies, only two are European (from Russia and the UK), but 15 are from the US. While Europe comprises 11 per cent of the world’s population, it has less than 2 per cent of the market value of internet companies globally.
The internet export economy of the US is second to none: some $350bn. Yet two-thirds of the destinations of these digital exports are in the EU. The EU and the US have an interdependent future, and the EU needs to upgrade its ailing broadband networks. A digital single market and a connected continent is important for Europe’s future as it is for America’s.
Without allowing companies to create scale through the appropriate capital structure formation, a true single digital market cannot be realised. The dream of companies investing in next generation networks will not result until companies are allowed to consolidate to get scale. This allows America’s carriers to invest at a level that equals one quarter of the world’s broadband investment annually.
Roslyn Layton, Center for Communication, Media and Information Technologies, Aalborg University, Denmark