European Commission unveils broadband funding plan

No doubt taking a page from other government-lead efforts in the Australia, Singapore and the U.S., the European Commission (EU) is putting together a broadband stimulus plan of sorts. A set of new guidelines would simplify the process for service providers to obtain funding to build out broadband service networks targeting ‘unserved,' or what it calls ‘grey' areas, and then ‘black areas' or markets where there are multiple service providers.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a press conference yesterday that the EU wants to make expanding the availability of broadband services a major tenet of its economic recovery plan with an ambitious goal of making broadband available to 100 percent of homes throughout the European Union by 2010. "While this investment should be made mostly by private companies, there is an important role for public investment in achieving the widest possible access to broadband in underserved and non-profitable areas," she said.

For more:
- Reuters has this report