The European Commission has launched a public consultation inviting Member States and other stakeholders to provide their views and comments on the existing EU State aid rules on public support for the deployment of broadband networks. The public consultation is part of an overall evaluation by the Commission of the relevant rules with a view to assess whether they are still fit purpose or whether they will need to be updated in light of recent technological and market developments. All interested parties can respond to the public consultation until 5 January 2021.
The evaluation concerns both the 2013 Broadband State aid Guidelines, that describe how the Commission will assess state aid granted for the deployment of broadband network, and the relevant provision of the General Block Exemption Regulation that exempts Member States from having to notify aid measures supporting the deployment of broadband networks under certain conditions.
Participation in the public consultation is possible via a general questionnaire allowing interested parties to provide their feedback and experiences in the implementation of the Broadband State aid rules and a targeted questionnaire that allows to provide more detailed information on technical aspects, specific provisions of the Guidelines and of the relevant provisions of the GBER.
The public consultation is accompanied by the publication of a study prepared by an external consultant on the implementation of broadband State Aid measures across the EU during the period 2013-2019.
This evaluation will provide the basis for a future Commission decision on whether an update of the current rules is necessary. The Commission will summarize the results of the exercise in a Staff Working Document by mid-2021.