Broadband for everyone in Europe
The overall goal is to ensure that all EU citizens, even in rural and remote areas, have high-speed broadband access, allowing everyone to benefit equally from all the opportunities available online – such as education, health, government services, and business.
The BCO Network is expected to play an important role in broadband development in rural and remote areas, as a key part of the Rural Broadband Action Plan. Collaboration with other EUinitiatives, such as the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD), the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH) and the European Innovation Partnership(EIP-AGRI), is also encouraged.
Broadband Competence Offices (EU)
A BCO is a public/publicly-appointed entity that should be able to inform citizens and businesses about broadband developments/deployments in the country/region. BCOs also provide technical support (regulatory, investment models, procurement, technology, etc) to local and regional authorities about means to support the deployment of broadband networks, including ways to invest effectively in broadband projects with the support of European regional and agricultural funds (ERDF and EAFRD), in combination with financial instruments where possible, and including information on State aid rules and procedures.
The functions of Broadband Competence Offices
The functions of a Broadband Competence Office include:
- Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of broadband investments;
- Underpinning the implementation of the Digital Single Market by accelerating public investment in broadband, including through the ERDF and EAFRD;
- Providing advice and assistance to citizens and businesses about broadband deployment (mapping coverage, quality of service and penetration, future investment plans, etc.);
- Supporting the expertise/administrative capacity of public authorities in the planning, implementation and monitoring of broadband projects;
- Helping in the coordination with EU relevant entities: EIAH, Jaspers, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO), Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development (DG AGRI), Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) and Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT);
- Promoting the use of financial instruments;
- Supporting the aggregation of demand for high-speed broadband.
Read the Questions and Answers to find out more about:
- Who can be supported by a BCO;
- Contacting a specific BCO;
- How BCOs are established;
- Joining the BCO Network;
- Training and support for BCOs.
The BCO Network Directory
Putting broadband actors in touch with one another is key to the BCO Network initiative. This encourages better knowledge-sharing, identification of partners, and the discovery of solutions in order to accelerate broadband deployment throughout all countries and regions of the European Union. To this end, an interactive map displays the full directory of national BCOs. It allows broadband stakeholders to search, identify and make contact with national BCOs in the Network.
The BCO Network forum
Members of the BCO Network engage in discussions and access training materials and news about upcoming events through the BCO Network forum.
Broadband Competence Offices (BCOs) who are already members can log in to the BCO Network forum here:
BCOs who are not yet members of the forum can contact the BCO Network Support Facility to enquire about gaining access.
Contact the BCO Network Support Facility
Address: Rue Archimède 5, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Telephone number: +32 (0)2 282 0918