EU broadband state aid revisited: key cases showing the way – Case 1: Aid to increase the availability of fixed broadband networks 08 November 22 Janne Kalliala

EU member states’ spending on broadband subsidies has increased to billions of Euro, following new financing available from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) to support the digital transition.

The European Commission’s recently published 2021 State Aid Scoreboard showed that, in 2020, member states spent a total of €2.53bn on 119 broadband measures.

In 2022, just one single Italian measure provided €3.8bn to support the deployment of 1 Gbps very high-capacity networks (VHCN).

Member states have also started to support (5G) mobile connectivity and introduced complementary voucher schemes to encourage service take-up.

In the EU, the use of public funding for private sector projects is always subject to state aid rules, which aim to ensure that competition is not unduly distorted.

Over the next four weeks, we will present selected case summaries from Cullen International’s new State Aid & Subsidies service, highlighting how the European Commission’s approach to enforcing these state aid rules is evolving together with the EU’s broadband policy objectives.

Our first highlighted case is the above-mentioned Italian measure which, apart from its very large budget, shows how VHCN deployments can be supported even in areas where relatively fast networks are already available. This measure targets areas where no network providing at least 300 Mbps (download) is present or planned by 2026.

The other case summaries, which we will share over the coming weeks, will cover other recent areas of attention: mobile network deployments, connectivity vouchers and social vouchers.

For access to the first case summary and/or a demo of our case database, please "Request Access" or simply on "Access the full content”, in case you are already subscribed to our State Aid & Subsidies service.


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