What is the problem?
Since the adoption of the first Broadband State aid Guidelines in 2009, technology has evolved and the Digital agenda for Europe which sets targets for broadband coverage and take up has been adopted. Therefore the rules need to be updated, taking into account Next Generation Access Broadband networks and also new technologies e.g. for wireless broadband.
Why is EU action required?
State aid control is enshrined in the Treaty in order to avoid distortion of the market, e.g. by avoiding subsidy races.
What has the Commission done so far?
The Commission has launched public consultations on broadband state aid in April 2011 and June 2012, before adopting new Broadband State aid Guidelines in December 2012. These changes focus on technological neutrality, Ultra-fast broadband networks, Step change (aid only for substantial improvements over existing networks), Reinforcement of open access and transparency. Background material is available in the website.
What will the Commission do?
The Commission will implement the new guidelines in order to support broadband deployment where market failures exist without distorting competition and discoursing private investment.