Technology: EU To Spend Billions On Faster Internet

The EU hopes its billions will spur private investments.

The EU hopes its billions will spur private investments.

The European Commission will propose an almost 9.2 billion euro (£8 billion) plan to invest in getting super-fast broadband internet across the European Union, and especially in rural areas.

The plan is set to encourage further investment in rural internet connectivity.


The Commission has also set targets for the timeline of improving the speed of home internet connections throughout Europe.

Its goal is to connect all European households to at least a 30 megabits per second connection by the year 2020. Other targets include having half the population of Europe connected to speeds of 100 megabits per second, with the end goal being a more productive and competitive Europe.

The projected 9.2 billion euros are set to be invested between 2014 and 2020.

Though the European Commission is set to put forth its plan on Wednesday, it would need to be approved by both the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers in order for it to come to pass.

Just the beginning

The body responsible for the proposition say that the move would stimulate more investment and bring about prosperity, with each euro invested seeing “a further six to fifteen euros more” in return.

The projections are that this investment in broadband infrastructure would encourage the private sector and local governments to help the project along to the tune of 50 billion additional euros.

The money for the broadband investment would come from a new fund called the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). This fund would also fund new projects in energy and transportation.

The logic behind the CEF is that the creation of this new fund would spur private telecommunications companies to improve their own networks more than they already do. This is because established telecom companies would no longer be the only ones able to bid for funding.

The broadband rollout would also be about getting public services available across the continent electronically, in addition to getting homes faster internet service. This means there are plans for things such as e-health services, smart energy networks, and cross-border measures to track down electronic crime, such as child pornography.

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