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A new fund has been set up to help ensure universal access to minimum download speeds of 100Mbps by 2025 across the European Union (EU).

The target was announced earlier this year by the European Commission (EC), which said it wants these speeds to be available to households even in the most remote areas.

In addition, it confirmed it wants businesses and public sector organisations to have access to speeds of at least 1Gbps by this time.

In order to help reach these goals, the EC has proposed a new European Electronic Communications Code that includes "forward-looking and simplified rules", which it hopes will "make it more attractive for all companies to invest in new top-quality infrastructures everywhere in the EU, both locally and across national borders".

The EC and the European Investment Bank have now gone a step further by setting up the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF), which will see £420 million allocated to various projects across the EU over the next ten years.

Günther H. Oettinger, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society at the EC, commented: "I am grateful to our financial partners for the establishment of this broadband fund. 

"It is an important development for smart and efficient funding of broadband projects, especially in underserved areas, in line with the spirit and the letter of the Investment Plan. It is a great step towards a European Gigabit Society for all."

Estimates from the organisation suggest achieving its broadband targets could boost GDP across the European Union by an extra €910 billion, as well as create 1.3 million new jobs by 2025.

The EC wants to support this by ensuring all urban areas, major roads and railways have uninterrupted 5G coverage, with 5G being commercially available in at least one major city in each EU country by 2020.

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