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Backbone networks for pan-European cloud federations

The European Commission is investing in backbone networks for pan-European cloud federations that guarantee access to reliable infrastructures and services.


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Backbone networks for pan-European cloud federations would address a number of challenges for both the public and private sector when it comes to data sharing. For this reason, the European Commission has decided to invest in backbone communications that guarantee access to reliable federated cloud-to-edge infrastructures and services for public administrations.

As a pan-European initiative, these backbone networks for a pan-European cloud federation need an adequate level of investment. CEF Digital will help to deploy cross-border cloud-to-edge infrastructure interconnections through high-capacity, highly secured networks. The Digital Europe Programme, InvestEU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility will also reinforce public administrations’ commitment to European Cloud Infrastructures.


Cloud technologies underpin the uptake of key emerging IT technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, the Internet of Things and high performance computing. Currently, there is relatively low cloud uptake in Europe in both the public and private sectors. This is despite political commitment to enable the free flow of data across the EU. For example, through backbone network for pan-European cloud federations.

Key data processing challenges affecting European competitiveness have pushed up the federation of cloud and edge infrastructures on the EU’s agenda. Cloud technologies will also contribute to the objectives of the European Green Deal by shifting data processing workloads and improving the energy-efficiency of the underlying infrastructure. And, the distribution of computing capacities will  allow efficient use of renewable energy.

Cross-border backbone networks for pan-European cloud federations in the public sector will boost its digital transformation. They will also allow faster and more secure data exchange among public administration across the EU.

What's to gain?

This political commitment to free movement of data across the EU anticipates a higher uptake of cloud services by both the public and private sectors. The competitiveness of the European economy in the 21st century is closely linked to the availability of secure and energy-efficient data processing infrastructures. Cloud computing provides the adequate data capacities to foster digital transformation of public authorities and businesses alongside high performance computing. The emergence of the Internet of Things has exacerbated the need for such data capacities, and so EU citizens’ dependence on cloud infrastructures is increasing.

At present, the market for cloud infrastructure services in Europe is limited to a small number of large global companies. European users of these infrastructures, such as public administrations, healthcare and defence, want to have guarantees as to the level of privacy and data security when relying on such infrastructures.

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