The European Commission put forward multiple policy measures and financial instruments that encourage private and public investments in fast and ultra-fast networks. These measures will help European citizens and businesses reap the full benefits of digitalisation.

EU Broadband Strategy and Policy Round Table Stakeholder Discussion

Objectives

The following objectives have been set in the field of 'provision of broadband':

In addition, the European Commission adopted a strategy on Connectivity for a European Gigabit Society in September 2016. This strategy addresses the availability and take-up of very high capacity networks, which will enable the widespread use of new products, services and applications in the Digital Single Market.

The three main strategic objectives for 2025 are:

  • Access to 1 Gbps for all schools, transport hubs and main providers of public services and digitally intensive enterprises,
  • Access to download speeds of at least 100 Mbps to be upgraded to 1 Gbps for all European households, and
  • Uninterrupted 5G wireless broadband coverage for all urban areas and major roads and railways.

Main measures for a future oriented broadband policy

Financing instruments

The European Commission's policy framework encourages both private and public investments in fast and ultra-fast networks to achieve the connectivity targets of the  Connectivity for a European Gigabit Society strategy.

Within the Investment Plan for Europe, the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) supports financing of the high-speed broadband roll-out. Member States have the opportunity to contribute to the Fund directly or through their National Promotional Banks.

Furthermore, the EU provides a framework for investment with the support of European Structural and Investment Funds.

In addition, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) supports Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) and broadband networks. It offers funding opportunities for basic and re-usable digital services, known as building blocks, and contributes to the achievement of the Digital Agenda broadband access targets for European households by 2020. CEF aims at stimulating the deployment and modernisation of broadband networks.

Broadband and Member States

In order to practically implement the aspirations of the Digital Single Market and the new Gigabit Society targets for 2025, all Member States are encouraged to endorse their targets and adapt their national broadband strategies to the new targets based on the results of the Study of the National Broadband Plans. All Member States should provide a country-specific framework for the coordination and organisation of broadband development activities. State aid guidelines help Member States achieving the Digital Single Market strategy aims. The implementation and review of the national broadband policies should be supported by Broadband Competence Offices (BCO's) as single contact points in each Member State.

Published: 
24 March 2014
Last update: 
6 October 2017
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