Europe can fully reap the benefits of the digital transformation if high-quality access to Gigabit networks is made available to all people, businesses and “socioeconomic drivers” such as schools, universities, hospitals, transport hubs and public administrations.
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF2) Digital programme will support and catalyse investments in digital connectivity infrastructures of common interest, during the period 2021-2027.
Actions foreseen under the programme include:
- the deployment of and access to very high-capacity networks, including 5G systems, capable of providing Gigabit connectivity in areas where socioeconomic drivers are located;
- the provision of very high-quality local wireless connectivity in local communities that is free of charge and without discriminatory conditions;
- uninterrupted coverage with 5G systems of all major transport paths, including the trans-European transport networks;
- deployment of new or significant upgrade of existing backbone networks including submarine cables, within and between Member States and between the Union and third countries;
- implementing digital connectivity infrastructures related to cross-border projects in the areas of transport or energy and/or supporting operational digital platforms directly associated to transport or energy infrastructures.
The CEF2 programme is going to be implemented on the basis of a work programme adopted by the Commission assisted by the CEF Coordination Committee, composed of representatives of the Member States.
The CEF2 provisional agreement envisages that the Commission should adopt the first multiannual work programmes by 31 December 2020. These will set out a timetable of calls for proposals for 2021-2023, the topics to be covered, an indicative budget and a prospective framework for the entire programming period (2021-2027). The CEF2 non-paper provides further details of preparation for launching CEF2.