EU plans broadband fund

EPA / JULIEN WARNAND

European Investment Bank (EIB) President Werner Hoyer (C-L), European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (C) and European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen (C-R) signing an agreement on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 22 July 2015. The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) is up and running by early autumn 2015 as the package includes a Communication on the role of National Promotional Banks (NPBs) in supporting the Investment Plan for Europe.

The new fund aims to improve infrastructure in any EU area in need by raising at least €500m at first closing through commitments from private and public investors, including the EIB and the European Commission.


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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.

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