High-speed internet connections via power lines could soon bring millions of EU homes and businesses a cheap alternative to connections using the traditional telephone network or TV cable.
The Commission on 8 April sent a recommendation to EU governments and national regulators to ensure suppliers using the electricity grid who wish to enter this market do not suffer discrimination compared to other technologies.
Potential users in central European countries who joined the EU last year would particularly benefit from the technology. According to the Commission, traditional phone lines in some major areas of central Europe may only cover 20% of users or even less. Providing broadband access would bring potential coverage to almost 100%.
"The lack of alternative telecoms in Europe holds back competition and keeps broadband prices high," the Commission pointed out in a statement.