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Europe

EU to spend €120m to extend free Wifi across Union

By | EU Legislation, Europe, News
The EU has announced it will spend €120 million to extend Wifi across 6,000 to 8,000 municipalities, bringing Wifi to “every European village and every city” with free Wifi by 2020. 

The scheme, dubbed WiFi4EU, is described by the European Commission as having the aim to “increase accessibility to high-performance mobile internet, and to raise awareness of the benefits of such connectivity.”

The action falls under the framework of the digital single market and the desire to make customers’ experience across the EU the same.

You can find more information about the initiative here.

EU to impose national quotas on streaming services

By | EU Legislation, Europe, News
The EU is to impose national quotas on streaming services.

The EU is currently considering imposing a quota on streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, to feature a minimum quantity of European works in their catalogues. The European Parliament has proposed a requirement of 30%, an increase on the European Commission’s proposal of 20%. The quota will be implemented as an amendment to the Audiovisual Media Services directive, which will likely be extended to include social media and any streaming on-demand service.

Colin Bortner, director of public policy for Netflix, argues that the quotas will result in lower quality work. One unnamed diplomat who opposed the measure said that there is a risk the directive will drift away from its original purpose and will move to policing “any moving picture on any screen”.

The quota is currently going through the ordinary legislative procedure, in which the Council of Ministers will also decide its own view, prior to the final outcome being negotiated between the three institutions in a process known as “trialogue”.