State Aid for the Deployment of Broadband Networks (Guidelines)

The Commission and many Member States have announced to support the deployment of boradband networks as part of their economic recovery packages. This includes not only traditional broadband networks but also new "NGA Networks". However, subsidies (State aid) are subject to certain conditions which the Commission clarifies in its latest Guidelines.


The subsidised deployment of parallel networks damages the profitability of existing networks and thus discourages investors to make new investments. There is a contradiction in the Guidelines between the regulation of mainly national markets and the geographically highly differentiated allocation of State aid. This tension could only be removed if geographically differentiated regulatory obligations were imposed on network operators. Since such a system change is currently unlikely, State aid for the deployment of broadband networks should be rejected.