The Commission has signed grant agreements with 37 projects selected under the second set of calls for proposals for the digital strand of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Digital). The total budget of €252 million will be allocated among projects for the deployment of 5G infrastructure for local communities and along major European transport corridors, as well as for the deployment of submarine cables, improving the security and resilience of backbone networks within and to the EU.
Among the supported projects, the EU will co-finance the deployment of sea cables to provide greater interconnection between Ireland and the EU mainland, as well as between the EU and its Outermost regions in the Atlantic Ocean. The grants will also support a direct trans-Arctic connection between the EU and the Far East, provide high-capacity connectivity infrastructure to digitally under-served Greek islands in the Mediterranean, and reinforce connectivity to Africa. Among the funded projects, the EU will also support future-proof 5G infrastructure along cross-border motorways, roads, railways, and inland waterways. 5G corridor projects will pave the way to Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) and related safety and non-safety services, ensuring cross-border service continuity.
Finally, the grants support the take-up of 5G network infrastructure in local smart communities around the EU, like universities, hospitals, and other civic buildings, to improve the quality of services of general interest.
The third set of calls for proposal under CEF Digital is currently open for submission until 20 February 2024.