European Commission proposes �1bn spend on broadband

Internet infrastructure to benefit from recovery plan

“The EU's Recovery Plan is all about 'smart investment' – a short-term stimulus targeted on long-term goals,” said José Manuel Barroso, president of the Commission. “That is exactly what the Commission has adopted today: a list of specific projects to direct €5 bn of unspent money from the EU budget to build a stronger Europe for the long term. 

"We need to learn the lessons of the recent gas crisis and invest heavily in energy. We also need to stimulate the European economy by providing information highways in rural communities.”

The proposal includes a €1bn spend on extending and upgrading high-speed internet in rural communities. This money will be paid through the EU's Rural Development Fund to bring broadband access to unserved areas of Europe.

The proposal also earmarks € 3.5bn for energy projects, including up to €1,250 million for carbon capture and storage, up to €500 million for offshore wind projects, and up to €1.75bn for gas and electricity interconnection projects.

The Commission says that extending and upgrading Europe’s high-speed internet infrastructure is an economic and social imperative. The European Economic Recovery Plan wants all of Europe to have access to broadband connections by 2010.

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