State aid: Commission approves German scheme for very high capacity broadband networks in Bavaria
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a Bavarian scheme to deploy very high capacity networks in Bavaria. The aid will bring very fast broadband to customers in areas where the market does not provide them, in line with the EU broadband connectivity goals. The scheme follows an earlier gigabit pilot project, which was approved by the Commission in December 2018. Contrary to the pilot project, which involved only six municipalities, the present scheme applies to the whole of Bavaria. Germany notified to the Commission the Bavarian scheme, which aims to develop a new, publicly financed very high capacity connectivity infrastructure that will deliver a faster internet for households, companies and public institutions in Bavaria. As the earlier pilot project, the Bavarian gigabit scheme will bring about a significant improvement – a ‘step change’ – in connectivity. The Bavarian gigabit scheme is in line with the strategic objectives of the Gigabit Communication, as it allows for public investment in areas where the new 2025 targets are not yet met and no sufficient infrastructure is to be provided by private investors within the next three years. At the same time, it protects incentives for private investments, which are needed in order to achieve full coverage with very high capacity connectivity networks in Europe. The aid will be awarded based on open, transparent and non-discriminatory tenders, with all technologies being able to compete for provision of the service. On this basis, the Commission has approved the Bavarian gigabit scheme under the Broadband State aid Guidelines. The project will contribute to the EU strategic objectives set out in the Commission’s Gigabit Communication, which encourages investments into very high capacity networks across the EU. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said: “The Bavarian scheme promotes the deployment of gigabit-infrastructure. With this scheme, public money will be channelled into those areas which are most in need of better connectivity. At the same time, it will foster investment from private operators.” The full press release is available online in EN, DE, FR.