Member States had until 30 April 2021 to share with the Commission their roadmaps for the implementation of the Connectivity Toolbox, detailing their expected plan and an indicative timing for implementing the appropriate measures for the rollout of very fast networks, notably fibre and 5G.

So far, the majority of Member States have shared their implementation roadmaps, which are published on the present webpage. The national roadmaps vary in structure and level of detail and are currently being assessed by the Commission. The page is continuously updated with the remaining roadmaps, as well as with possible updates from Member States to the published roadmaps.

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis highlighted the need for very high capacity connectivity, and more importantly, the need for continued wide-scale investments in digital connectivity infrastructure (notably fibre & 5G networks). To incentivise investments, the Commission adopted the Connectivity Recommendation (September 2020), in the context of which Member States agreed on 25 March 2021 on a common Union toolbox of best practices to reduce the cost of deploying very high capacity networks and to ensure timely, efficient and investment-friendly access to 5G radio spectrum.

Back in December 2020, the Member States, in cooperation with the Commission, compiled a number of best practices to be considered for the Toolbox. They identified and agreed on the measures that were most efficient in addressing the most challenging obstacles telecom operators encounter when rolling out networks. Mainly, with a view to reduce the cost of deploying electronic communications networks and ensuring efficient, both timely and investment-friendly, access to 5G radio spectrum.

Connectivity in the Recovery and Resilience Facility
At the same time as they are submitting the Roadmaps, the Member States are in the process of submitting their national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs) under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). Member States were invited to notify their plans before 30 April and a good number of them have already submitted their formal plans.

The RRF offers an unprecedented opportunity to speed up the recovery in Europe and reinforce the commitment to the digital transition. It foresees that Member States dedicate at least 20% of the investment plan to the digital transformation.

The Commission has strongly encouraged Member States to focus their RRPs on a limited number of flagship areas, including connectivity infrastructure. The Commission is now carefully assessing the national RRPs. The RRF Regulation invited Member States to engage not only in investments but also in reforms. The Commission strongly encourages the Member States to consider the Connectivity Toolbox when finalizing their RRPs and in any event as they start implementing them.

Source: European Commission