In March 2021, the Member States, in close cooperation with the Commission, collectively agreed upon a set of 39 best practices, as part of the “Connectivity Toolbox”, which they identified to be the most efficient in achieving a swift roll out of very high capacity networks, such as fibre and 5G. These best practices are intended to overcome administrative obstacles and cut the cost of network rollout, as well as to ensure investment-friendly access to radio spectrum, a key resource for 5G networks. By end of April 2021, the Member States had to develop and share with the Commission their national roadmap for identifying the best practices they plan to implement and the planning of the related measures identifying the measures. As a follow up, the Member States are now reporting on their implementation progress.
In the implementation reports, the Member States should provide an overview of the best practices’ implementation at national level, assessing their benefit and the overall impact of the Toolbox, as well as noting the different aspects of the implementation process (e.g. stakeholder groups, responsibilities of specific authorities, etc.) in accordance with the scope and process outlined in their own national implementation roadmap.
The Member States would in particular indicate the status of implementation of the best practices, including a description of the measures planned and related, timing. In addition, Member States would provide information about the challenges they have encountered while implementing the respective measures, the relevant stakeholders consulted during the process and any constraints lessons learned and positive effects of the initiative.
In September 2020, the Commission recommended the development of a common Union Toolbox to aid Member States in rolling out very high capacity networks. The initiative builds upon the EU’s objective to bring advanced connectivity across the EU, laying down the key building block for digital innovation in various sectors, most notably in transport, medicine, education and manufacturing.
More recently, the Commission reaffirmed and shaped its ambition with a concrete plan and targets for digital transformation by 2030. In the Commission’s proposal for a digital policy programme, ‘the Path to the Digital Decade’, the Commission set out advanced connectivity targets for the EU; by 2030, all EU households should have gigabit connectivity and 5G should cover all populated areas. Europe’s digital transformation starts with fast, resilient and secure networks. They will support advanced technologies; allow businesses to upgrade to innovative services; give citizens access to online public services and digital skills.
The Commission is reviewing the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive which, building on some of the best practices of the Connectivity Toolbox, aims at further reducing costs for deployment of very high capacity networks and is expected to make a proposal by the end of Q2 2022. There are areas of the Directive that are not covered in the scope of the Connectivity Toolbox (for instance access to in-building physical infrastructure or civil works coordination) and, from the ones included, Member States have committed to implement a subset of the identified best practices following an assessment of their national circumstances to reduce the cost of deployment of very high capacity networks.
Find below the Member States' implementation reports