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Action 46: Member States to develop national broadband plans

The Member States should develop national broadband plans operational by 2012. These plans should meet the coverage, speed and take-up targets defined in the Digital Agenda for Europe. Public funds in line with EU competition and state aid rules should be used. The Commission will report annually on progress as part of the Digital Agenda governance.

What is the problem? National broadband strategies are incomplete

Today, almost all Member States have a broadband strategy. Most of them focus on complete coverage for basic levels of broadband (i.e. adequate for email, routine surfing and administrative services). Very few of them set clear operational measures to achieve:

Real competition among broadband providers that would lead to affordable prices for consumers.

The roll-out of high-speed internet, both in terms of timing and funding.

Why is EU action required? Better national strategies to stimulate investment in broadband

Developing comprehensive national broadband strategies will help stimulate investment in fast internet access beyond current market levels. Ultra fast internet will enable new services based on higher bandwidth needs to become available on a daily basis.

What are the Commission's plans?

In 2011:

  • The publication of the Digital Agenda Scoreboard & supporting analysis in preparation of the Digital Agenda Assembly.
  • The launch of a multilingual broadband portal to facilitate exchange of best practices.
  • A series of workshops for public authorities in charge of public finance and ICT, broadband, telecom and regional development policies.
  • Guidelines (including templates) for local and regional authorities on the use of EU funds for broadband project design and preparation.
  • Guidelines on broadband investment for local and regional authorities to facilitate full absorption of EU funds.

In 2012:

  • A report on Member State progress in developing national broadband strategies that meet coverage, speed and take-up targets defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy.

Contact:

ken.ducatel@ec.europa.eu