The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have announced plans to launch the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund, as a pairing tool of European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), Juncker plan’s 2.0 version
This fund aims to focus on broadband infrastructure, an investment platform that will bring together private and public commitments. According to the Commission, the operational launch of the fund is slated for mid-2017.
This will be carried out along with three National Promotional Banks and Institutions (NPBIs): Germany’s KfW Bankengruppe, Italy’s Cassa Depositie Prestiti and France’s Caisse des dépôts et consignations from France.
From the Commission’s part, an investment of €100m into the fund from the Connecting Europe Facility is planned, adding up to the already present financing tools and the funding from the market. The four NPBIs mentioned above, have also expressed their interest as anchor investors and are expected to invest in equity and quasi-equity.
At this stage, up to a dozen broadband projects will be funded each year between 2017 and 2021 with amounts of €1m to 30m per project.
Overall, the Fund is expected to unlock additional investments between €1bn and €1.7bn in broadband deployment in underserved areas, where very high-capacity networks are not deployed yet. The fund aims to have invested in 20 countries by 2021.