Insights European Commission publishes proposal for a Gigabit Infrastructure Act and consults on future of connectivity sector and its infrastructure


The Commission has published a set of proposals aimed to make Gigabit connectivity available to all citizens and businesses across the EU by 2030, in line with the objectives of Europe’s Digital Decade strategy, and to transform the connectivity sector in the EU.

The Commission has published:

  • a proposal for a Gigabit Infrastructure Act: a new Regulation that will establish new rules to enable a faster, cheaper and more effective rollout of Gigabit networks across the EU; the Commission says that the proposed Act responds to the growing demand for faster, more reliable, data-intense connectivity; it will replace the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive (2014/61/EU);
  • a draft Gigabit Recommendation: guidance to National Regulatory Authorities on the conditions of access to telecom networks of operators with significant market power, in order to incentivise faster switch-off of legacy technologies and to accelerate Gigabit networks deployment; the aim is to ensure that all operators can access existing network infrastructure, when appropriate; the draft Recommendation has been sent to the Body of European Regulators (BEREC) for a two-month consultation; BEREC will provide an Opinion and then the Commission will adopt the final Recommendation; the Gigabit Recommendation will replace the Access Recommendations, which consist of the Next Generation Access Recommendation (2010) and the Non-discrimination and Costing Methodology Recommendation (2013); and
  • an “exploratory” consultation on the future of the connectivity sector and its infrastructure: to gather views on how increasing demands for connectivity and technological advances may affect future needs and developments; it seeks to identify the types of infrastructure needed for Europe to stay ahead of transformative technological developments and to lead digital transformation; it also seeks views on how to ensure that the investments required to roll out the infrastructure are put in place in a timely fashion across the EU and discusses the potential need for all those benefitting from digital transformation to contribute fairly to investment in connectivity infrastructure; the Commission acknowledges that this is a complex issue which requires a comprehensive analysis of the underlying facts and figures before deciding on whether further action is needed; the Commission says that it is strongly committed to protecting a neutral and open internet; the deadline for responding to the consultation is 19 May 2023.

To read the Commission’s press release in full and for links to all three texts, as well as further information, click here.