This publication is made pursuant to Article 124.1 (b) of the Rules of Application of the Financial Regulation that provides for an ex-ante publication on the Institutions' websites of contracts with a value up to 60.000 EUR.
 Only the candidates invited by the contracting authority to participate in the procedure for awarding this low value contract will be admissible.

Purpose of this call for tenders:

The European Commission will launch soon a call for tenders for a service contract of a maximum value of EUR 35 000.

The purpose of this call for tenders is the assessment of the specific financing needs in the broadband market.

On 19 November the European Parliament plenary adopted the CEF Regulation, and the Council followed on 5 December. For the telecoms part of CEF, the co-legislators reached political agreement on the sector-specific guidelines on 5 November 2013. With this, it is now clear that CEF will make available 15% of the budget (150m EUR in 2011 prices) to support the priority of "efficient flow of private and public investments to stimulate the deployment and modernisation of broadband networks in view to contribute towards achieving the broadband targets of the Digital Agenda for Europe."

The legal bases establish that CEF can only support broadband projects through financial instruments.

The CEF Regulation requires the Commission to carry out an ex-ante assessment for CEF financial instruments.

The policy question to be considered by the contractor is whether most of the limited CEF broadband resources should be committed to the cross-sectoral debt instrument or to an equity instrument (or to both).

More specifically, such evaluation should address the following main question:

- Which financial instrument promises the greatest contribution towards the CEF broadband objectives?

Also, considering the above policy options, this assessment should furthermore answer the following queries:

- The effectiveness of each of the policy options

- The acceptability of both policy options, i.e. the extent to which stakeholders accept either option.

- The coherence of both policy options with other relevant Union policies, such as the Structural Funds, as well as with relevant policies by Member States, regions and municipalities.

- Which of the two policy options is more likely to be taken up by Structural Funds managing authorities?

Interested economic operators can express their interest to participate in the call for tender until 18.02.2014 in writing to

Processing your reply to the ex-ante advertisement will involve the recording and processing of personal data (such as your name and address). Such data will be processed pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. Unless indicated otherwise, any personal data requested are required to register your interest to participate in the call for tender and will be processed solely for that purpose by the Data Controller. You are entitled to obtain access to your personal data on request and to rectify any such data that is inaccurate or incomplete. If you have any queries concerning the processing of your personal data, you may address them to the Data Controller. You have the right of recourse at any time to the European Data Protection Supervisor for matters relating to the processing of your personal data.

For the purpose of this ex-ante advertisement, the Data Controller shall be the Head of the Unit in charge of this call for tender. Any queries concerning the processing of personal data of the Candidate can be addressed by e-mail to the following contact person: by indicating the reference of the ex-ante advertisement.