Anthony Whelan currently works as digital policy adviser in the cabinet (private office) of European Commission President von der Leyen.
He was previously the Director for Electronic Communications Networks & Services at the European Commission since 2013, designing and negotiating EU initiatives on topics such as net neutrality, roaming reform, the revision of the telecoms regulatory framework, and the financing of advanced broadband networks.
A barrister, he has lectured and researched in public law at Trinity College Dublin and has worked as a lawyer at the European Court of Justice and in the Legal Service of the European Commission. Between 2008 and 2013, he was head of the cabinet of EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes in the competition and digital agenda portfolios.
While COVID-19 has caused delays in 5G implementation, the crisis also underscored the importance of its swift and effective deployment. Business leaders and scientists from the G20 member states have voiced the urgent need to improve digital infrastructure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting that 5G is key to future economic recovery. How can policymakers overcome procedural roadblocks and resistant stakeholders and allow 5G to play a significant role in the post-pandemic recovery?