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UK and European Leaders Support GBP7.5bn Superfast Broadband Boost

Saturday, October 20th, 2012 (1:14 am) - Score 573

The European Council, which is represented by the leaders of each member state (e.g. UK Prime Minister, David Cameron), yesterday set aside its doubts and gave explicit support to the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and its proposed investment of €9.2bn (almost £7.5bn) into the delivery of faster broadband services.

The apparent endorsement was welcomed by the vice president of the European Commission’s (EC) Digital Agenda project, Neelie Kroes, whom expressed concern last month after the Cypriot Presidency suggested that a lack of support existed among national governments and called for the level of investment to be “reconsidered“.

But in a new statement the European Council has outlined its support for the CEF and described it as “an important instrument to promote growth through investment in transport, energy and ICT links“. The statement added that the council was looking “forward to the forthcoming proposals on reducing the cost of the deployment of high speed broadband“.

Neelie Kroes commented:

Good to see that today’s European Council has explicitly supported the Connecting Europe Facility, including for digital technologies and infrastructure.

And that makes sense – because those national leaders also support measures to boost growth and build a digital single market, and you can’t do that without fast broadband infrastructure, and high-quality online services.”

However Kroes warned that the statement still had to be translated “into concrete action to unlock this essential investment“, with the final decision on CEF funding expected to be taken in November 2012. The extra money would be used to help make superfast broadband (30Mbps+) services available to 100% of Europeans by 2020 (including in the UK).

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar New_Londoner says:

    Good to see this making progress, let’s see whether it gets funded next month and how much flows to the UK. Far better for the EU to put money into projects like this that may actually have a positive impact on growth rather than wasting it on nonsense like the Common Agricultural Policy, which costs us taxpayers €50bn per annum, nearly half the total EU budget.

    If the MEPs had to show how they were helping economies across Europe, promoting growth and jobs, perhaps they’d invest more in areas like CEF, reduce waste by cutting back CAP drastically. And if you thought CAP was about benefiting us consumers with cheap food, ask yourself why it includes minimum price guarantees for EU farmers, along with import quotas and tariffs for those outside the EU – in other words measures to push up prices for consumers, funded by our taxes!

    1. Avatar Darren says:

      I don’t know anything about CAP but if that €50bn is helping to keep food prices low I’d hate to see the prices if that €50bn dissapeared. Everything is either going up or staying the same price for less quantity (sneaky buggers).

      Good to see more money being put into broadband, can I get a couple thousand of that €9.2bn for a fibre connection please 🙂

    2. Avatar New_Londoner says:

      @Darren
      “if that €50bn is helping to keep food prices low I’d hate to see the prices if that €50bn dissapeared”

      Amazingly given its our money, it seems to be more about subsidising the farmers by keeping prices up, not helping us by keeping them down. £3.3bn for UK farmers alone every year, so in a year over 3 times the total going into broadband over about 5 years!

  2. Avatar dragoneast says:

    I can only assume it’s a bit hard for some people to realise that there is life away from a computer screen (rather a lot of it, actually). There are also a lot of subsidies paid out that don’t add to my income – not waste, either, although invariably inefficient (but none of us are perfect) – but they help to sustain a physical or social environment that’s worth living in, and to keep the whole economy afloat. Thankfully. Digital, OK; but it’s no modern alchemy that turns everything to gold.

  3. Avatar zemadeiran says:

    All this talk of growth makes me want to cry…

    In a previous post I outlined how growth is directly related to cheap energy. The same cheap energy that has enabled countless businesses to develop and with it globalisation.

    We have now entered into a downward spiral and all this talk of returning to growth is complete shit. My friends, unless there is a paradigm shift to a new form of plentiful energy for our civilisation we are definitely up shit creek without a paddle.

  4. Avatar Phil says:

    “The extra money would be used to help make superfast broadband (30Mbps+) services available to 100% of Europeans by 2020 (including in the UK)”

    They better be careful with this wording as I still don’t believe it will be 100% in UK by 2020 of 30Mbps+.

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