The roll-out of high-speed fixed and wireless broadband networks across the EU requires substantial investments. Civil engineering works, such as the digging-up of roads to lay down high-speed broadband, account for up to 80% of the cost of deploying high-speed networks. Limiting these works would make broadband roll-out cheaper.
Two craftsmen with orange helmets standing in front of and pointing on a tablet

The Directive on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks (2014/61/EU) aims at facilitating and incentivising the roll-out of high-speed electronic communications networks by reducing its cost. It includes measures such as the sharing and re-use of existing physical infrastructure, which are expected to create conditions for a more cost efficient network deployment.

Check the factsheet for a quick overview of the rules for broadband roll-out that will cut costs and increase the reach of high-speed broadband networks.

The measures of the Directive scale up national best practices in four main areas:

  • Access to existing physical infrastructure (e.g. ducts, poles or masts) including those belonging to energy and other utilities, for operators willing to deploy high speed broadband networks
  • Efficient coordination of civil works
  • Faster, simpler and more transparent permit-granting procedure
  • Equipment of new buildings and major renovations with high-speed physical infrastructures (e.g. mini-ducts, access point) and access to in-building infrastructure

The successful implementation of the Directive helps to create a digital economy that delivers sustainable economic and social benefits based on modern online services and fast internet connections.

Why this Directive?

The Directive supports the EU's broadband targets set out in the Digital Agenda: ensuring that by 2020 all Europeans have access to much higher internet speeds of above 30 Mbps and ensuring that 50% or more of EU households subscribe to internet connections above 100 Mbps. 

At EU level, an impact assessment has been completed to achieve costs savings in the deployment of high-speed broadband networks. Also, public consultation processes have been undertaken in preparation of the Directive.

Implementation of the Directive in the Member States

Member States had, until 1 January 2016, to transpose the Directive into national legislation. From 1 July 2016 on, Member States shall generally apply those measures. Many stakeholders can nevertheless already start exploring and preparing synergies in network deployment.

The Commission is working with the main stakeholders of the Directive – from Member States to industry representatives to local and regional authorities – to ensure timely and effective transposition as well as to maximize the impact of the measures on the ground.

Team responsible


Friday, 2 May, 2014
Last update: 
Tuesday, 9 May, 2017