Making Europe more digital is one of the key challenges for our generation. The increase of online interactions and the emergence of new ways of living, working and doing business, has shown the central role that digital technologies play in our economy and society. In turn, digital technologies require appropriate digital connectivity infrastructures in order to function.
Despite this growing need for connectivity, there still is a significant gap in private and public funding. The Connecting Europe Facility – Digital comes as a response to this gap. Together with other funding instruments, including the Recovery and Resilience Facility and the InvestEU, CEF Digital will help support an unprecedented amount of investments devoted to safe, secure, and sustainable high-performance infrastructure. In particular, Gigabit and 5G networks across the EU. This action will be important in supporting Europe’s digital transformation, as outlined in the Path to the Digital Decade proposal.
Furthermore, CEF Digital will contribute to the increased capacity and resilience of digital backbone infrastructures in all EU territories, in particular the Outermost Regions. This is crucial for Europe’s ambition to continue being digitally sovereign and independent in the years to come.
The main actions foreseen under CEF Digital include:
- Deploying very high-capacity networks, including 5G systems, in areas where socioeconomic drivers are located (see 5G connectivity for smart communities);
- Guaranteeing uninterrupted coverage with 5G systems of all major transport paths, including the trans-European transport networks (see 5G coverage along cross-border corridors);
- Deploying new or a significant upgrade of existing backbone networks, including submarine cables, within and between Member States and between the Union and third countries (see the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure Initiative, Backbone networks for pan-European cloud federations, Backbone connectivity for Digital Global Gateways);
- Implementing and supporting digital connectivity infrastructure related to cross-border projects in the areas of transport or energy (see Coordination and Support Action).