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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetbusiness issueslegaltelecommunication

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?