The investment announcement from the European Commission marks the adoption of the first work programme for the digital part of the CEF Digital funding programme, which aims to support the deployment of 5G infrastructures in Europe


The European Commission to invest more than €1bn under CEF Digital for innovative and secure connectivity. (Credit: NakNakNak from Pixabay)

The European Commission (EC) said that it will invest over €1bn through 2023 to drive innovative and secure connectivity under a funding instrument called Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Digital).

According to the Commission, the announcement marks the adoption of the first work programme for the digital part of the funding programme.

CEF Digital outlines the scope and objectives of the European Union (EU) backed measures required for enhancing the digital connectivity infrastructures across Europe for three years.

It will promote public and private investments to support connectivity projects of common interest in the EU. Besides, the funding instrument will contribute towards the deployment of safe, secure, and sustainable high-performance infrastructure such as Gigabit and 5G networks in the region.

CEF Digital is planned to support the setting up of 5G infrastructures in Europe, especially 5G coverage in cross-border corridors as well as 5G for smart communities.

The Commission believes that boosting the connectivity infrastructure in Europe will be essential for achieving digital transformation across the continent. An enhanced connectivity infrastructure will also make sure that all households in the EU have gigabit connectivity, while all the populated regions get 5G coverage by the end of this decade.

EC Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said: “Secure and fast connectivity is the pillar on which we will build Europe’s Digital Decade. It will give Europeans access to digital skills, let businesses innovate and support the availability of unprecedented applications in fields such as health, education and online public services.”

The Commission also expects the Connecting Europe Facility funding instrument to bolster connectivity networks by supporting new infrastructures or improving existing backbone networks in the EU and with third countries. The organisation added that this is necessary for the interconnection of digital capacities like data, cloud, computing, which fit into the ambition of the EU of sustaining its digital sovereignty.

Last month, the EC announced an investment of €1.98bn to advance digital transition in Europe by implementing three work programmes for the Digital Europe Programme.