DG Connect is organising a participatory online workshop to discuss the main drivers and barriers for network deployment on 27 January 2021, from 10.00 - 15.30.

The participatory workshop, on the evaluation and review of the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive will focus on three topics:

  • drivers of electronic communications networks deployment
  • persisting barriers and solutions
  • challenges regarding permit granting for network installation 

The topics will be addressed in different breakout sessions, which will be driven by the set of suggested questions.


DG Connect counts on the participation of a variety of stakeholders ranging from electronic communications operators, other network operators, physical infrastructure operators as well as their respective associations, public authorities (national, regional or local) dealing with the tasks established in the Directive (permit granting, dispute resolution, single information point, etc.), citizens, consumer associations, civil society organisations, businesses and experts.

How to get involved?

Register by 19 January. For any questions, contact cnect-b1-bcrd@ec.europa.eu.

Register now

The workshop draft agenda

Welcoming and keynote speech by Rita Wezenbeek, Director - Electronic Communications, Networks & Services, DG CONNECT (10:00 – 10:15)

1st breakout session and debriefing: New drivers for network deployment (10:15 – 11:30)

The participants will examine and discuss the new needs in the electronic communications market, in the context of deploying very high capacity networks (VHCN) – including fibre and 5G and the current political priorities in relation to the twin transition to a green and digital economy.

They will also have the occasion to express their views about the socio-economic benefits of the deployment of VHCN for local communities and the contribution of the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive to fibre and 5G deployment. The breakout session will conclude with a debriefing in the plenary.

Coffee break (11:30 – 11:40)

2nd breakout session and debriefing: Persisting problems and proposed solutions (11:40 – 13:00)

Participants will exchange on the difficulties faced in deploying electronic communications networks, such as lack of availability of relevant information on existing physical infrastructure, difficulties in accessing physical infrastructure (including in-building infrastructure), insufficient coordination and transparency of planned civil works, high permit fees, as well as legal uncertainty due to lack of clear access pricing and cost sharing rules.

The participants will have the opportunity to discuss and propose potential measures to improve the coordination and transparency of planned civil works, ensure better access to physical and in-building infrastructure, better cooperation between sectoral network operators, make dispute settlements more efficient, enhance the Single Information PointsThe breakout session will conclude with a debriefing in the plenary.

Lunch break (13:00 – 14:00)

3rd breakout session and debriefing: Permit granting procedure (14:00 – 15:15)

Participants will address the deployment of networks mainly at the local/regional level, both covering the barriers that it may face (e.g. the length of permit procedures, reluctance towards the installation of antennas in urban environments) and the benefits it can bring to cities and regions (e.g. smart and green cities, smart rural areas).

The participants will also discuss potential measures for streamlining permit granting processes, such as tacit approval, exemptions or lighter permit regime for installations that meet specific criteria, one-stop-shop and enhanced coordination role of the Single Information Point, the use of electronic procedures, as well as possible incentives to more sustainable networks. The breakout session will conclude with a debriefing in the plenary.

Closing remarks (15:15 – 15:30)

More information

A second participatory workshop will be organised in February only for public authorities competent in the implementation of the Directive. It will focus on institutional aspects, such as coordination amongst administrations, better enforcement and dispute resolution (more information will be provided soon).

The Commission has recently launched a public consultation to gather stakeholders views on the evaluation and the review of the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive, which will remain open until 2 March. The responses received on the public consultation, as well as the feedback received through the workshops and other consultation activities, will feed into the Commission’s evaluation, impact assessment and the new legislative proposal of the Directive.

More on the consultation