Italy’s telecoms lobby urges EU to help lower energy bills, avoid power cuts

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MILAN, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Italy’s telecoms lobby has called on the European Union to consider ways to help the industry cope with rising energy costs as well as to shield their networks from any planned power cuts, a document seen by Reuters showed.

The energy crisis comes on top of other business concerns for telecoms operators in Europe, which are caught up between high investment needs and low returns partly linked to a crowded and competitive landscape.

In a letter sent to EU industry Chief Thierry Breton on Friday, Assotelecomunicazioni asked for telecoms players to be treated like energy intensive industries, a move which would ease access to measures to cut their electricity bills after a three-fold increase over the past year.

“Companies in the telecoms sectors continue experiencing increases of energy supply costs, while they must ensure continuity to their services,” the letter said.

As the risk of power shortages grows in the wake of Russia’s decision to cut gas supply in the wake of the Ukraine conflict, telecoms operators are bracing for potential power cuts which could knock out part of their network.

“A clear indication of the impossibility for telecoms network to be disconnected…would give much needed certainty to telecoms players and to the whole economic system over the service continuity”, Assotelecomunicazioni’s head Massimo Sarmi said.

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina Editing by Keith Weir)

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