The European Commission on 28 February 2012 released a study showing that, if the internal market for electronic communications were completed, the EU gross domestic product (GDP) could grow by up to € 110 billion a year, or more than 0.8% of GDP. E-Communications is a critical part of overall efforts to build a digital Single Market. This "digital bonus" for EU growth would result from more competition, increased economies of scale for telecom operators, and the chance for every European to access all online content and services throughout the EU.
The study was carried out by an international team of experts and academics. It suggests three main types of policy measures to tackle obstacles: a) reduced regulatory fragmentation, b) more European standardisation, c) the need for more coordination of the activities of national telecoms regulators at EU level.
The study points to the fact that in the coming years demand for bandwidth will continue to increase. The drivers of growth will be online services such as movies and games. These services require guaranteed quality of service. This requires pan-European standards, since what might work in one Member State may not be possible in another.
The revised EU telecoms rules provide a backdrop to the study and the consultants have indicated a number of policy measures that could be taken by the Commission in the coming years to achieve a truly Single Market in e-Communications.