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Shaping Europe’s digital future

Backbone connectivity for Digital Global Gateways

High-quality backbone connectivity is essential to the performance and resilience of electronic communications networks.

Did you know that most of the internet traffic today passes through submarine cables that are fundamental to connect Europe with with its islands and Outermost Regions and the rest of the world?It is these same submarine cables that help provide backbone connectivity, transporting big volumes of information across extended geographical areas. Backbone connectivity plays a fundamental role in ensuring that our internet traffic remains strong and consistent despite growing data flows.

In her 2021 State of the Union speech, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen highlighted the need to strengthen strategic connectivity within the European Union through Global Gateway partnerships. In the field of digital, she mentioned how important it is to make sure all parts of the Union can have equal access to open and secure internet.

CEF Digital will contribute to this Global Gateway strategy by supporting the deployment of backbone connectivity and networks throughout the EU. The objective is to ensure high-quality connectivity in all parts of the Union. In particular, in the Outermost Regions, islands and Member States with coastlines, as well as the Overseas Countries and Territories where connectivity standards are often lower. 

More specifically, this will be possible by funding key infrastructures such as submarine cables and, where necessary, improvements in connectivity with satellite ground stations. The average budget for this between 2021-2023 is around of €130m. In the long run, this will not only be important to strengthen the connectivity capacity throughout the EU, but also to balance out the prices of connectivity services, both for citizens and for network operators.

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