The European Commission has committed over €250 million to bolster secure connectivity throughout the EU as part of the CEF Digital Programme. Grant agreements have been finalised, with 37 projects selected in the second round of calls for proposals under the digital aspect of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Digital).
The total budget of €252 million will be distributed among various projects aimed at deploying 5G infrastructure within local communities, major European transport corridors, and submarine cables. This initiative aims to enhance the security and resilience of backbone networks both within the EU and to its neighbouring regions.
Among the selected projects, the EU will co-finance the deployment of submarine cables to enhance interconnection between Ireland and the EU mainland, as well as connections to the EU’s Outermost regions in the Atlantic Ocean. The grants will also facilitate a direct trans-Arctic connection between the EU and the Far East, improve high-capacity connectivity infrastructure for digitally underserved Greek islands in the Mediterranean, and strengthen connectivity to Africa. Additionally, the EU will support the development of future-proof 5G infrastructure along cross-border motorways, roads, railways, and inland waterways, with a focus on paving the way for Connected and Automated Mobility (CAM) and related safety and non-safety services.
Furthermore, the grants will contribute to the adoption of 5G network infrastructure in local smart communities across the EU, including universities, hospitals, and civic buildings, aiming to enhance the quality of essential public services.
The third set of calls for proposals under CEF Digital is currently open. Submissions will be accepted until February 20, 2024.