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European nations cannot afford to divert funds away from their broadband rollout programs, it has been claimed.

Neelie Kroes, Europe's Digital Agenda Commissioner, issued the warning amid suggestions that some countries wish to use Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funds for other purposes.

It has been suggested that CEF finance could be used to fund transport and energy projects, rather than the construction of next-generation broadband networks.

But Ms Kroes, a Vice-President of the European Commission, believes this would be a major mistake.

"Every EU Council meeting is asking for more digital action, more digital progress," she noted.

"Now they need to put their money where their mouths have been."

The Dutch politician commented that if nations cut their investment in broadband, it will have an adverse effect on growth.

"We don't need more empty airports," Ms Kroes commented.

"We need a balanced investment program in Europe that targets investment at the sectors with strongest prospects for growth."

The EC has set a target for universal 30Mb broadband coverage in the EU by the end of the decade.

In addition, the Commission wants at least half of all households to have access to 100Mb broadband services.

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