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European funding for the rollout of super-fast broadband could potentially be reduced as budget cuts are implemented, it has been suggested.

The European Commission intends to make €9.2 billion (£7.3 billion) available from its Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), however this allocation has been questioned by the Cypriot presidency.

Last week it emerged that some national governments would like to see finance intended for broadband investment reallocated to transport and energy.

And this latest statement from the European Union presidency appears to confirm such reports.

"The Presidency retains that programmes under this sub-heading have a high potential to contribute to the fulfilment of the Europe 2020 Strategy; however, they will also have to contribute to the overall reduction," it read.

"Whilst recognising the strategic importance of the CEF, the presidency notes that the telecommunications part has received less support by member states than transport and energy."

The Cypriot statement said that the size and relative weight given to the three strands of the CEF, as well as the scope of the proposed transfer of €10 billion from the Cohesion Fund, needs to be reconsidered.

Under existing plans, the EC is aiming to deliver universal 30Mb broadband across the 27 EU member states by the end of the decade, with half of all homes and businesses able to access 100Mb downloads.

But the viability of this plan may come into question if funding is diverted into other areas, such as energy and transport infrastructure projects.

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