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Competition Policy

Revision of the Guidelines on State aid for broadband networks

Policy field

Competition: State aid

 

Target group

All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation. Contributions are particularly sought from 1) Member States, their aid granting authorities and their national regulatory authorities 2) companies and business associations operating in the European single market.

 

Period of consultation

From 19 November 2021 to 11 February 2022

 

Objective of the consultation

The Commission is publishing for consultation the draft revised Guidelines on State aid for broadband networks (the ‘Broadband Guidelines’).

The revision aims to clarify the existing State aid rules and ensure they take account of the latest market and technological developments.

The proposed targeted revision of the Guidelines consist of:

  • Introducing new speed thresholds for public support to Gigabit fixed networks and new guidance on support for the deployment of mobile networks. This aims at: (i) reflecting the increasing connectivity needs of end-users; and (ii) clarifying the conditions under which support may be granted, in particular with respect to the existence of a market failure and to the performance that the networks must achieve.
  • Introducing a new category of possible aid in the form of demand-side measures supporting the take-up of fixed and mobile networks (vouchers). The purpose is to ensure legal certainty, by clarifying the compatibility conditions that the Commission applies in relation to these measures, based on recent case practice. 
  • Further clarifying certain concepts, which are important for the State aid assessment carried out by the Commission such as, among others, mapping, public consultations that need to be carried out before granting the aid, competitive selection procedure, wholesale access obligations, and extension of the subsidised networks with private funds.
  • Modifying the structure of the Guidelines. This aims at increasing readability of the draft Guidelines, thus easing their application and providing more clarity to Member States and other stakeholders.

 

How to submit your contribution

We welcome contributions from citizens, companies, business associations, public authorities and other organisations.

  • If you are answering this consultation as a citizen, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of a company or business association, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of a public authority, including national regulatory authority, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of any other organisation, please click here to submit your contribution.

Received contributions will be published on this webpage. Only submissions that are clearly marked "CONFIDENTIAL" (in English, in capital letters) will be treated as such and not published. In that case please also provide a non-confidential version of your reply. It is important to read the privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

We would appreciate receiving submissions electronically, as attachments to emails in .doc or .pdf format. Please see for contact details below.

Please note that we cannot guarantee to take account of replies received after the deadline.

It is important to read the privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

 

Consultation document  / Questionnaire

Please note that the consultation will be launched based on the English version of the text. The translations into all EU languages are non-official translations. In case of doubt, the English version prevails.

 

 

Contact details

Responsible service:
Directorate-General for Competition – Unit C4
Please always indicate the reference number in your correspondence: HT.5766
 

e-mail: COMP-BBGL@ec.europa.eu
 

Postal address:
European Commission
Directorate-General for Competition – Unit C4
State Aid Registry
1049 Bruxelles /Brussel
Belgique /België

 

Reason why the consultation period is less than 12 weeks

The Broadband Guidelines are one of the main measures undertaken to achieve EU digital transition. Need for an accelerated revision of the Guidelines for State aid for broadband networks to ensure a timely adoption.

 

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