New EU rules to allow state funding of broadband in cities

EU guidelines on broadband public funding emphasize technological neutrality

New European rules will allow national authorities to fund broadband networks in cities.

To date, European Union state aid guidelines in the broadband sector have aimed at getting last-mile access to rural communities. But a new set of guidelines published on Wednesday will allow public funding in urban areas for ultra-fast broadband networks of more than 100 Mbps.

Such funding will be subject to very strict conditions to ensure a pro-competitive outcome, and be technologically neutral. This means that state funding can go not only to fiber networks, but any platform that facilitates fast broadband access.

The Commission says that publicly financed infrastructure, using taxpayers money, can only be justified if it provides a substantial improvement over existing networks and not only a marginal improvement in citizens' connectivity.

As set out in its Digital Agenda, the E.U. authority wants basic broadband for all Europeans by 2013, Internet speeds of above 30 Mbps for all by 2020 and connections above 100 Mbps for 50 percent of European households also by 2020.

State aid rules on broadband have been in place since 2009, but this revision follows a consultation with member states, national telecoms regulators, aid granting authorities, telecommunications operators and others.

The guidelines will be formally adopted following publication in the Official Journal of the E.U. in January 2013.

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuestelecommunicationlegalgovernmentinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?