Guidelines on State aid for broadband networks

Author (Corporate)
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Series Details C 36, Pages 1-42
Publication Date 31/01/2023
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Communication adopted by the European Commission on 12 December 2022, setting out guidance on State aid for broadband networks.

Further information:

The European Union (EU) has established objectives to improve broadband connectivity, for which adequate investment is deemed a requirement. While such investment come primarily from private investors, it may be complemented by public funds, where necessary and in accordance with State aid rules.

Competition policy play a role in fulfilling digital strategy objectives and developing a coordinated investment strategy for connectivity. The purpose of State aid control in the broadband sector is to ensure that State aid will result in a higher level of broadband coverage and use than would be the case without State intervention, while supporting higher quality, more affordable services and pro-competitive investments. Any State intervention should limit as much as possible the risk of crowding out private investments, altering commercial investment incentives and ultimately distorting competition contrary to the common interest.

The European Commission launched an assessment of the 2013 Broadband Guidelines in June 2020, seeking to evaluate whether they were still fit for purpose. That assessment - published in July 2021 - showed that although, in principle, the rules had worked effectively, targeted adjustments were needed to reflect recent market and technology developments and take into account legislative developments and latest priorities.

This Communication sets out revised guidelines under which the European Commission will assess State aid measures notified by Member States to support the deployment and take-up of broadband networks in the EU. It was adopted by the Commission on 12 December 2022 and published in the Official Journal on 31 January 2023.

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Related Links
Euronews, 12/12/2022: EU regulators tweak state aid rules to boost broadband rollout

European Commission: Press Release, 19/11/2021: State Aid: Commission invites comments on proposed revision of EU State aid rules for deployment of broadband networks
European Commission: Press Release, 12/12/2022: State aid: Commission adopts revised State aid rules for broadband networks

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