Reducing broadband deployment costs – DSOs welcome ITRE changes to proposal

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November 28th 2013, Brussels – CEDEC and EDSO for Smart Grids support the objective of encouraging synergies between industries such as electricity, gas, telecoms and heat network operators, which could result in significant savings for society. We see information sharing on existing infrastructures, the granting of access to the passive infrastructures of other network operators (ducts, masts and pipes) as well as cooperation in civil works, as important tools for coordination between network operators.

“Local energy distribution system operators are also often providers of broadband infrastructure and services. Our members therefore are well aware of the potentials for synergies, and have been tapping them for many years. We therefore welcome that the Parliament has confirmed the need to leave more flexibility for Member States (which could be reached by changing the legal instrument), as situations, procedures and applied solutions vary considerably” said Gert De Block, Secretary General of CEDEC,the European Federation of Local Energy Companies.

In its report, the industry committee clarifies some conditions for the shared use of passive infrastructures, with a view to ensuring the safety and security of the networks as well as workers. Moreover, it underlines that electronic communications network providers shall also have the right to offer access to their passive infrastructures, thus increasing reciprocity within the text. Having said that, the independent and transparent decision making of the dispute settlement body has to be ensured.

“European distributions system operators are at the core of smart grid development, where cost-efficient solutions are crucial. We, therefore, commend the efforts made by the ITRE committee to improve the proposed legislation, particularly with regard to the additional room for manoeuvre the committee wishes to give to the Member States, but also in relation to questions of reciprocity between the parties”, said Per-Olof Granström, Secretary General of EDSO for Smart Grids, also highlighting “the importance of not compromising the safety, security and integrity of the networks”.