Saturday, June 30, 2012

Europe - Swedish MEP calls for broadband speeds of AT LEAST 1 Gigabit per second

Public Service reports the views of Gunnar Hökmark MEP:
Europe cannot afford to be reactive and hesitant on this issue, if we want to take the global lead. Our policies must be forward-looking, instead of conserving old structures. Moreover, Europe needs a real push for the deployment of ultrafast broadband - which can deliver speeds of at least 1 gigabyte and beyond. The European Union's current digital agenda targets that stipulate that all European households should have access to 30 Mbps, with 50 per cent of the households having access to at least 100 Mbps, is already outdated. Other global actors, including Japan and South-Korea, are already moving ahead with much higher speeds. If we do not want to continue to lag behind, we must set targets in gigabytes instead of megabytes. Some 50 per cent of EU households should have access to 100 Mbps by 2015 and not by 2020. That should be our target. In the same vein, we need to sharpen the high-speed target for 2020.

USA - AIR.U to bring white spaces wireless to rural colleges and universities

Google and Microsoft are to bring "super" Wi-Fi to campuses in rural USA according to ExtremeTech. AIR.U, hopes to bring between 20 to 100Mbps of wireless bandwidth to rural educational institutions, which will then provide internet access to local communities.
Super Wi-Fi (a term coined by the FCC and strongly frowned upon by the official Wi-Fi Alliance because it isn’t Wi-Fi), or IEEE 802.22 as it’s technically known, uses the TV channel frequencies that were originally used by analog TV, but which were freed up by the digital switchover in 2009. These channels — 6MHz blocks in the VHF and UHF ranges (54-698MHz) — are capable of carrying up to 20Mbps over a distance of 18 miles (30km). Multiple channels can be banded together to create faster links.

The reason 802.22 white space connectivity is so desirable is because low-frequency signals (such as 54MHz VHF) can travel very long distances, bend around mountains, and pass through obstacles. These low-frequency signals are the reason that single, huge TV transmitters can broadcast a signal to millions of homes — and why higher-frequency services, such as cellular radio, require broadcast towers every few miles.

Moving forward, the AIR.U (it’s the world’s most banal acronym, by the way: Advanced Internet Regions) consortium plans to start rolling out some pilot Super Wi-Fi networks in 2013, as and when white space networking equipment becomes widely available. Once the wireless links have been made to universities and colleges, a wired network or normal WiFi can be used to provide internet access to the rest of the community.

New Zealand - Adoption of broadband relates to costs (connecting and use) and availability of video-on-demand

Scoop reports that the NZ Commerce Commission has released the results of a study on the adoption of broadband.

Ross Patterson, Telecommunications Commissioner, said:

The intention of the study has always been to identify factors which might slow down the uptake of high speed broadband by consumers and businesses so relevant parties can make informed decisions. Following feedback from interested parties, we are still seeing two main areas identified as being important to consumers – costs relating to connecting and using high speed broadband, and the availability of video-on-demand services
The full report is available from the Commerce Commission.

The key points that have emerged in the course of this study are:

  • The costs related to connecting to the network, and using high speed broadband services, have been identified by many parties during our study as a critical factor. As these costs (non standard connections, re-wiring, upgrading equipment and subscribing to the services) appear to be significant, they are likely to reduce the initial uptake of high speed broadband services for both consumers and SMEs.
  • Video content is likely to be the primary driver of consumers’ uptake of high speed broadband services over the next few years. The rate of uptake is likely to be higher if there is a diverse range of video on demand options available to consumers. Currently, there are limited online video on demand services in New Zealand compared with many other comparable countries.
  • Potential issues relating to data caps, backhaul capacity and IP interconnection are likely to be resolved by market forces.
  • Rural users have the same appetite for fast broadband as urban users, but have a more fundamental need, which is to be connected to basic broadband. Theyare concerned that they could be left behind as New Zealand moves forward with high speed broadband services. This issue has been recognised in the RBI initiative and in the five point government action plan for faster broadband.
  • In this report the Commission identifies issues related to the uptake of high speed broadband services. Where these issues are currently being considered or planned to be considered by other parties as part of their future work programmes, the Commission has stated so in this report.
  • In submissions received on the draft report, some parties commented that the Commission was not explicit about what actions should be taken by which external parties, or that the Commission did not make specific recommendations. Policy decisions and regulatory recommendations fall outside the Commission’s jurisdiction under section 9A of the Telecommunications Act. The purpose of the report is to raise public awareness of the issues, to enable the relevant parties to make informed decisions.
  • The Commission notes that submissions made by some parties commented on the need for this report to be updated in the future, and for the need to be more specific about the Commission’s monitoring processes.
  • The Commission is currently reviewing its monitoring strategy and will take into account all the submissions received during the study in redesigning its future monitoring programme. The revised programme will include the monitoring of the rate of uptake of UFB services, changes in data caps, and the range and price of services offered over UFB. The Commission will consult on the scope and regularity of the monitoring reports.

Oxfordshire - A rural wireless ISP set up to increase speeds and business opportunities

The BBC reports three entrepreneurs in rural Oxfordshire have set up a new ISP, Sugarnet.

Founder, Oliver Helm, said:

We had become so frustrated with the big companies' unfulfilled promises and our unworkable internet speeds. We decided to take the bull by the horns and create the solution ourselves. Crippling speeds make it very difficult for businesses to grow, particularly now that everything is going online, and it makes them look to move to places where they don't have that issue.
It installed a wireless network with it claims has increased some connections from 0.2Mbps to 300Mbps, though it offers speeds of 5, 10 and 20 Mbps.

Oxfordshire County Council was also spending £3.86 million on improving broadband services in the county.

OFCOM - Consultation on copyright infringement and proposed code for regulating infringements

OFCOM has launched a consultation ending on 26 July 2012 on a proposed code relating to the online infringement of copyright and the Digital Economy Act (DEA) 2010.

Stranraer - BT to extend superfast broadband to 4,000 in this exchange area

The Galloway Gazette reports that BT is make superfast broadband available to 4,000 homes in Stranraer.

Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP for South Scotland:

I’ve long campaigned for fast and reliable broadband in the region and I welcome the news from BT that Stranraer has been earmarked in this latest round for high speed fibre broadband.

There are obvious benefits of having a better broadband connection and this is excellent news for householders and businesses alike.

The internet plays a vital role in the local economy and in a digital age where most business is conducted online, it’s crucial that our rural areas can compete in the marketplace.

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said:
: Stranraer is really suffering because of the economic downturn and this news gives our local firms a boost. These improved links will really help local businesses, and will attract investment and new jobs. Residents will also benefit from being able to do more, better and faster, online.

However, even after this announcement far too many people in our area remain on painfully slow internet spends. We need to roll out superfast broadband to smaller towns and villages too because everyone in our region needs to be benefit.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

BT Openreach - Testing a service to extend FTTC to the home, but at costs of over £1,000 (wholesale)

ZDnet reports that BT Openreach is testing service described as "fibre on demand" that will provide speeds of 330 Mbps from Spring 2013.
The problem isn't the technology but the cost of the deployment, which involves laying a fibre optic cable from the local cabinet to the home or business premises. This is a variable cost, but could well be over £1,000.
Mike Galvin of BT Openreach was quoted as saying:
FTTP on Demand has great potential and so we are proceeding with these pilots. Whilst we believe FTTC will be our mass market consumer product for some time yet, FTTP may be of interest to small and medium sized businesses and so we want to make it accessible throughout our fibre footprint. This development can potentially help SMEs to compete both at home and abroad as well as maintain and create jobs across the UK.
Computing identifies the eight exchanges as including: parts of High Wycombe, Bristol South and St Agnes in Cornwall, the Waverley exchange in Edinburgh (from September 2012), then parts of Watford, Cardiff, Basingstoke and Manchester Central (from March 2013).

UK - Virgin Media criticised for adverts claiming to double speeds, but sometimes just cutting the price

The Inquirer reports that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) had criticised Virgin Media over claims it was doubling speed:
The ASA said the ads implied that Virgin Media was doubling broadband speeds across the board, when it was in fact only doubling speeds for some, with 100Mbit/sec customers seeing a price cut instead of a speed upgrade.
The ASA said:
We considered consumers would interpret ad (b) to mean that all consumers who have or could get the Virgin service would have their broadband speed doubled. Because we understood that not all non-Virgin customers and Virgin 100 Mb and non-cable broadband customers would have their broadband speed doubled, we concluded that ad (b) was misleading and that the exclusions contradicted the main claim. On these points, the ads breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 and 3.8 (Substantiation), 3.9 (Qualification) and 3.22 (Prices).

Scotland - a further 150,000 premises to have access to superfast broadband in 2013

The BBC reports that BT is to roll-out "superfast broadband" to a further 150,000 Scottish homes and businesses in 2013.

It quotes Brendan Dick, BT Scotland director, as saying:

Local firms and households who make the switch to fibre broadband will be able to do so much more with their connection, whether they're using it for business, entertainment, education, social networking or shopping - or all of these at once. They're joining more than 10 million premises now passed by our fibre network and becoming part of one of the fastest roll-outs of the technology anywhere in the world.
ZDnet reports the UK announcement covering 98 exchanges, some of which are in Scotland, with a full list.

Highlands and Islands - HIE is contracting BT to build broadband networks worth £120 million

The Northern Times reports a £120 million boost for broadband to bring "superfast broadband" to communities across the Highlands and Islands. The programme, funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) will be undertaken by BT.

The Stornoway Gazette quotes Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan:

HIE, who are in conversation with BT at present are drawing up plans which will include in some areas major works such as new sub-sea cables, and which will, I hope, now ensure next generation broadband comes to the islands over the next few years.

“I will be keeping in touch with the project to establish further details about works to be carried out locally, as the contract for the Highlands and Islands will be awarded as soon as August. Work will start shortly thereafter to address the ‘backhaul’ issue – in other words the huge amount of work that needs to be done between the Western Isles and the central belt before we have any chance of improved broadband speeds here.

See also the press release from HIE. Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HIE, said:
This funding puts the Highlands and Islands on track to deliver the largest and most challenging rural broadband project in the UK. By bringing together the expertise and investment of both the private and public sector we want to roll out a service which will change the face of the region. Businesses and communities will see benefits where they matter most including in education, in supporting healthcare services and by opening up new markets. Our ultimate aim is for all parts of the Highlands and Islands to benefit and this news brings us a step closer to our goal.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Ireland - EC reported it was doing well on mobile broadband but not on high speed fixed broadband

Inside Ireland reports the European Commission finding Ireland ranked fifth in the EU for mobile broadband but well below average when in fixed line high speed broadband.
Ireland is now however leading the EU in the field of eGovernment.

USA - Senate adopts changes to the broadband part of the Rural Utilities Service

the National Journal reports that the U.S. Senate passed an amendment to the broadband section of the farm bill changing the way broadband grants and loans are distributed by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS).
The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Mark Warner, D.-Vir, with a bipartisan group of co-sponsors including Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and the ailing Mark Kirk, R-Ill, sets up a competitive bidding process for broadband loans and grants, and eliminates the rolling application process that was previously in place.

The amendment requires a minimum level of grants for areas that are currently not reached by any broadband service, sets minimum broadband speeds for funded projects, encourages new entrants to the rural broadband sector and requires RUS loan recipients and grantees to map the reach of their broadband projects. Additionally, the amendment directs the Department of Agriculture to devote 1% of RUS appropriated funds to oversight and administration.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association welcomed this:
Given the scarcity of federal dollars, it is critical that government use its resources efficiently by limiting subsidized overbuilds and focusing its efforts on extending access to the roughly 18 million Americans currently without broadband

OFCOM - Two new members appointed by OFCOM to its Advisory Committee for Scotland

OFCOM has announced the appointment of two new members of its Advisory Committee for Scotland (ACS).

These are Stuart Gibson from Edinburgh and Peter Peacock from Inverness.

UK - Civil Service should be !digital by default" and exclusively online where possible

Public Service reports Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude announcing that many public services would be delivered solely on-line as the civil service overcomes the lag it has in digital offerings, as part of the Civil Service Reform Plan.

Maude said:

"We need to embrace new ways of delivering services. We need to be digital by default. Digital by default will become a reality, not just a buzz phrase.
Services that could be delivered online "should be delivered only online".

See the Civil Service Reform Plan.

Global - Broadband subs rose 16 million in Q1 to over 200 million, with Asia in the lead

The Broadband Forum in a press release reporting that the global broadband subscriber base rose 16 million in 2012 Q1 passing a total of 600 million as growth accelerated.

Asia is leader with 262 million and is growing faster than other regions. China alone represented 164 million lines. China, India and Brazil achieved double digit growth.

Europe - A report analysing the obstacles to ICT-led growth and those which can best be removed

Bruegel has produced a policy contribution on the obstacles hampering ICT-led growth in Europe and the main areas in which policy could unlock the greatest value.
According to the literature survey and the collected estimates, the areas in which the right policies could unlock the greatest ICT-led growth are product and labour market regulations and the European Single Market. These areas should be reformed to make European markets more flexible and competitive. This would promote wider adoption of modern data-driven organisational and management practices thereby helping to close the productivity gap between the United States and the European Union.

Gains could also be made in the areas of privacy, data security, intellectual property and liability pertaining to the digital economy, especially cloud computing, and next generation network infrastructure investment.

Standardisation and spectrum allocation issues are found to be important, though to a lesser degree. Strong complementarities between the analysed technologies suggest, however, that policymakers need to deal with all of the identified obstacles in order to fully realise the potential of ICT to spur long-term growth beyond the partial gains that we report.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Scotland - What are the regulatory structures and licences after independence?

I attended the @ScotsmanDebate on the economics of independence. Alongside much discussion of a future currency (Pound, euro or something new) and the associated organisational arrangements, I raised the question of the need for a new institutions to replicate the Office of Fair Trading, Competition Commission, the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the various sector regulators, including @OFCOM . There seems to have been little thought given to this.

I have a short paper setting out some of the issues.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Europe - EC has published Digital Agenda Scoreboard

The European Commission has published the Digital Agenda Scoreboard (see press release and memo). It found:
  • Broadband is nearly ubiquitous in Europe. 95% of Europeans have access to a fixed broadband connection.
  • Consumers and businesses are moving fast to mobile. Mobile Internet take-up grew by 62% to 217 million mobile broadband subscriptions.
  • 15 million Europeans connected for the first time in 2011, with now 68% of
  • Europeans online regularly and 170 million on social networks. For the first time a majority of economically disadvantaged Europeans have used the internet, but one in four Europeans have still never used the internet.
  • Greece, Portugal and Ireland have turned to eGovernment to help maintain quality public services. Alongside the Czech Republic, the greatest increases in eGovernment provision and use have been in cash-strapped economies, underlining the valuable role of eGovernment in successful structural reform.
Up to 80% of the costs of rolling out high speed broadband networks are related to civil engineering, such as the digging up of roads to lay down fibre. The Commission believes this high percentage calls for harmonised measures to reduce these costs and is envisaging an EU initiative in the beginning of 2013.
See the Digital Agenda Scoreboard.

UK - Regulator is designating BT with SMP in wholesale leased line services above 1Gbit/s

OFCOM on measures to meet growing demand for fast data services from UK businesses, mobile operators, internet providers and consumers.

A review of the leased lines market led to proposals for changes:

The review proposes to maintain and extend some existing regulation on BT, the major provider of wholesale services in this market. But Ofcom also proposes lighter regulation in the London area, where BT faces greater competition from other providers.

Outside of London, Ofcom is proposing to regulate very high-bandwidth, wholesale leased line services above 1Gbit/s. BT is proposed to have ‘significant market power’ in this relatively new market, in all parts of the UK except London and Hull.

See the Business Connectivity Market Review and consultation.

BRIC - the rapid progress in the adoption of mobile broadband

ZDnet reports the rapid progress of Brazil, Russia, India and China (but not South Africa) in the adoption of mobile broadband.

Infonetics reports the number of global mobile broadband subscribers increased by almost 50 per cent between 2010 and 2011, to 846 million. It estimates that the figure will reach 2.6 billion — an increase of more than 300 percent — by 2016. BRIC countries will continue to do the driving.

Infonetics analyst Stéphane Téral said:

We anticipate Asia Pacific to account for over half of the world’s mobile broadband subscribers by 2016, while Latin America will see the fastest growth.

Everything Everywhere - Speculation that it might be acquired by venture capitalists or a high street retailer speculates that venture capitalists are interested in acquiring Everything Everywhere.
The bid is reportedly being masterminded by former EE CEO Tom Alexander, who is said to have held discussions with KKR and another private equity group Apax, according to the Financial Times. The operator, formed by the merger of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK, dismissed the reports in a statement.

The idea that EE might be an acquisition target for a high street retail specialist reflects the operator’s evolved position. It no longer manages its own 3G network, having devolved responsibility for this to the MBNL shared venture with 3UK, which has seen T-Mobile, 3UK and Orange pooling together infrastructure equipment and tower sites.

China - Ministries progressing in the development of a national broadband plan

CRI reports on the national broadband plan for China.
The project, which was selected as a national strategy by the State Council on May 9, means that China has got a development plan for its broadband network at the national level. The ministry, the National Development and Reform Commission and nine other ministries have been discussing specific aspects of the "Broadband China" project since February, according to Zhang Feng, head of the telecommunication development department of the MIIT.
Last week, Shang Bing, vice-minister of the MIIT, said:
China is embracing a new round of investment (in its telecom sector)," Chinese telecom operators are expected to invest 370 billion yuan ($58 billion) in broadband construction this year, an increase of 10 percent year-on-year.

Mearns - BT is making 20 Mbps available from spring of next year

The Mearns Leader reports BT is extending faster broadband to Netwonhill and Laurencekirk. From spring 2013 homes will have access to 20 Megabits per second (Mbps) download speeds, more than double the speed previously available from BT.

Some 94 Scottish exchange areas covering around 836,000 premises have been included in the fibre upgrade plan to date.

UK - Only 1 in a thousand lines can deliver 100 Mbps and only 2 in a thousand households has signed up that speed

ZDnet reports that only 0.1 per cent of UK broadband lines is capable of 100 Megabits per second and only two in a thousand households have signed up for a 100Mbps service.

It quotes the European Commission:

In terms of the broadband speed targets set by the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE), the UK has one of the smallest shares of lines within the EU at and above 100Mbps. The penetration of these lines in January 2012 was only 0.02 percent and below the EU average of 0.4 percent.

Even at lower speeds, the UK is lagging. Uptake of connections in the 30-100Mbps range was 1.7 percent, compared with 2.4 percent for the EU as a whole. In addition, only 5.5 percent of fixed connections are able to deliver those rates, the Commission said.

Whitby - Robin Hood's Bay Broadband Cooperative has been funded by DEFRA for rural broadband development

The Whitby Gazette reports the Robin Hood’s Bay Broadband Cooperative has been successful in becoming the latest community broadband project to be funded by Defra’s Rural Develeopment Programme for England, with investment also supported by NYnet and the Bay community.

Ireland - Demand for broadband flattening out according to latest figures from the regulator

Silicon Republic reports that ComReg, the regulator, has found that the broadband market is relatively stable with the number of subscriptions holding up, but that there is now little growth.
At a time when broadband is becoming a considerable economic enabler - new jobs available from Apple and Amazon for home-shoring workers require 5Mbps and 4Mbps minimum speeds respectively - broadband subscriptions grew only 0.1pc to 1.66m subscriptions at the end of March.
Less than 20pc of broadband subscribers - mostly cable users in urban areas - are getting speeds higher than 10Mbps. See the full report.

USA - President eases access to federal land, including roads, for construction of broadband

US President Obama has signed an Executive Order to facilitate the deployment of broadband. He said:
Building a nationwide broadband network will strengthen our economy and put more Americans back to work. "By connecting every corner of our country to the digital age, we can help our businesses become more competitive, our students become more informed and our citizens become more engaged."
The Executive Order (EO) will require the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs as well as the US Postal Service to offer carriers a single approach to leasing Federal assets for broadband deployment.

The new US Ignite Partnership is to create a national network of communities and campuses with ultra-fast, programmable broadband services, operating at speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second. This network will become a test-bed for designing and deploying next-generation applications to support national priorities areas such as education, healthcare, energy, and advanced manufacturing. US Ignite is intended to challenge students, startups, and industry leaders to create a new generation of applications and services that meet the needs of local communities while creating a broad range of job and investment opportunities.

Birmingham - EC gives approval for €6 million of state aid for broadband

The European Commission approved €6 million of public financing for the construction of an ultra-fast broadband network in the city of Birmingham to be in line with EU state aid rules, in particular because it will be genuinely open to all operators and will therefore promote competition.

Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia said:

Investments in ultra-fast broadband networks contribute to promoting growth in line with the EU's Digital Agenda. If such networks are built with the help of taxpayers' money, it is important to ensure thriving competition on the subsidised networks, so that local businesses and citizens can benefit from continuously improving broadband services at competitive prices.

Scotland - On e-commerce while the UK is globally number one for e-commerce, Scotland is well behind

The Glasgow Herald comments on a report on e-commerce in Scotland:
Despite a decade of explosive growth, and the presence of exemplary Scottish-based firms such as Schuh, Toolstop, Black Circles and Skyscanner, so far no Scottish minister or development agency leader has publicly addressed the specialised demands of e-commerce or the lack of training in the technical, design, marketing, supply-chain management and order-fulfilment skills needed to succeed in a global marketplace.

The report was also critical of the Scottish public sector's lack of knowledge and engagement with e-commerce to date and urged a "refreshed" approach by the public sector including "awareness raising activity", publication of statistics, encouragement of further networking and improved training of economic support staff and businesses.

See the full text of the report.

Friday, June 15, 2012

UK - Optimistic estimate of £1.8Bn for costs of interception for the next decade to be met by government

The Guardian reports that HMG plans to spend £1.8bn over ten years for tracking emails, phone use and Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The Home Office has published the Communications Data Bill.

The Guardian notes:

Ministers have already agreed to pay all the costs of the scheme, which will require phone and internet companies to collect and store for 12 months the records of internet and mobile phone use in Britain for access by police and intelligence services.

The communications data that police and intelligence services may seek about an individual under the communications bill includes email addresses and phone numbers of people who have been in contact; when this happened; where; and the details giving the police records of suspects' associates and activities. It will remain the case that they will not be allowed to access the content of emails, texts, mobile calls and other confidential web use without a warrant signed by the home secretary.

[Home Secretary, Theresa] May defended the 550,000 individual requests for data each year made by security officials as a vital tool to catch serious criminals and terrorists.

The House of Lords is separately considering the admissibility of evidence from interception (see progress).

Cumbria - Council rejects the bids from BT and Fujitsu under the govt scheme for rural broadband

The BBC reports that Cumbria County Council has rejected the only two bids it received for broadband, from BT and Fujitsu.
The county had been awarded £17m from a public subsidy, one of the largest amounts given to any UK council.

Both BT and Fujitsu have been given more time to come up with better offers.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Scotland - Additional £32 million for broadband from UK government's BDUK

The BBC reports that BDUK, part of the UK Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), is to provide an extra £32 million for superfast broadband in Scotland.

This is addition to £68.8m allocated for Scotland in 2011.

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore MP said:

Access to superfast broadband means Scottish businesses can expand, develop new markets and compete globally. It also allows local communities to access public services more quickly and efficiently online.

Providing Scotland with high-speed broadband is essential for businesses to grow and to create the new jobs we need. That is why the UK government believes broadband is essential not only for everyday life, but also for the future economic success of Scotland and the UK.

See also the Scotland Office press release.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Europe - Council of ministers agreed on €9.1 billion for trans-European networks and digital platforms

The Council of Ministers approved a new funding instrument for trans-European infrastructure networks.
agreed on the creation of a "Connecting Europe Facility" (CEF) – the future funding instrument for Europe's key infrastructures in the energy, telecommunications and transport. The ministers reached a compromise on the last outstanding question – whether the CEF should provide for more possibilities of funding road development projects.

The draft regulation on CEF, worth €50 billion of investment, aims to help create high-performing, environmentally sustainable and interconnected networks across Europe.

Telecommunications sector: broadband networks can receive funding rates of up to 50%, generic services and cross-cutting priorities – up to 75%, while projects linked to "Europeana" – the digital platform for the European cultural heritage – can receive funding of up to 100%.

See also the Presidency Conclusions.