Today, the European Commission launched the first calls for proposals under the digital part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Digital) programme. With a planned budget of €258 million, the calls aim to improve digital connectivity infrastructures, in particular Gigabit and 5G networks, across the Union, and contribute to Europe’s digital transformation.
The Commission will co-fund actions aiming to equip Europe’s main transport routes and providers of key services in local communities with 5G connectivity, as well as actions to deploy or upgrade backbone networks based on advanced technologies.
The calls will also focus on infrastructure connecting federated cloud services, backbone infrastructures for digital global gateways, such as submarine cables, as well as preparatory actions to set up operational digital platforms for transport and energy infrastructures across the EU.
This follows the adoption of the first Work Programme for the CEF Digital in December 2021 that earmarked more than €1 billion in funding for the period 2021-2023. CEF Digital calls are mainly open to entities, including joint ventures, established in Member States and overseas countries or territories. Interested applicants can learn more about the application, the evaluation and the award processes at the online info day that will take place on 19 January.
The second generation of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF-2 programme) “Digital” strand (2021-2027) builds on the previous one, which supported cross-border digital infrastructures and services, as well as free internet access for local communities through the WiFi4EU initiative from 2014-2020.