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Supporting telecommunications networks and digital service infrastructures across Europe



Regulation (EU) No 283/2014 — guidelines for trans-European networks in the area of telecommunications infrastructure


It lays down the guidelines for projects of common public interest in the area of trans-European telecommunications infrastructure. The general objectives for these projects of common interest are laid down in Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility 2014-2020 (CEF).

The guidelines are necessary to ensure the timely deployment and interoperability of telecommunications networks.

t repealed Decision No 1336/97/EC with effect from 31 December 2013.

The regulation was amended in 2017 by Regulation (EU) 2017/1953 which introduced the Wifi4EU initiative. This new regulation enables the EU to grant funding to support access to high-quality free local wireless connectivity, without discriminatory conditions, in public places (e.g. buildings such as libraries and hospitals, and outdoor spaces such as parks).



The regulation covers projects of common European interest in the area of trans-European networks for telecommunications infrastructure that aim to contribute to economic growth and to improve daily life for citizens, businesses and public authorities in the EU’s digital single market.

The regulation sets out the criteria on the basis of which projects of common interest are eligible for EU funding and sets the priorities for funding.

The 3 categories of projects covered by this regulation are:

  • digital service infrastructures (DSIs);
  • broadband networks (for very high-speed Internet access); and
  • free local wireless connectivity in public places.

Eligibility criteria for DSIs

To be eligible for funding, DSIs must:

  • be sufficiently mature to be deployed;
  • contribute to EU single market policies;
  • create European added value (i.e. EU funding adds value compared to the value that be created by the EU countries acting alone);
  • have a long-term sustainability strategy;
  • comply with international and/or European standards or open specifications.

A core service platform (a central hub) at EU level that meets the eligibility criteria is to be procured by the European Commission subject to available funding. National stakeholders may receive a grant for linking up to the core service platform provided that they fulfil the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility criteria for broadband networks

Eligible projects must:

  • contribute to the realisation of the targets of the Europe 2020 flagship initiative, the Digital Agenda for Europe;
  • be sufficiently mature;
  • address market failures or sub-optimal investment situations;
  • not lead to market distortion or crowding-out of private investments;
  • use the most suitable state-of-the-art technologies for addressing the needs of the geographical area in question, offer the best balance with cost efficiency and respect technology neutrality*;
  • be likely to be replicated and/or be based on an innovative business model.

Broadband projects are funded through either:

  • financial instruments, which may be combined with additional contributions from
    • other sectors of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
    • other instruments or programmes from the EU budget
    • EU countries (including regional and local authorities) and
    • any other investors (including private investors); or
  • a combination of financial instruments and grants from public sources other than the CEF, whether they are from EU or national sources.

Eligibility criteria for free local wireless connectivity projects in public places

Eligible projects must:

  • be implemented by a public sector body that ensures its operation for a minimum of 3 years;
  • install local wireless access points in local public places;
  • build on high-speed broadband connectivity and the best available equipment to deliver to end-users a high-quality internet access free of charge, without discriminatory conditions, easy to access, secured, capable of delivering high-speed connectivity and supporting access to innovative digital services;
  • provide access in the relevant national languages of the EU country concerned and, if possible, in other official EU languages;
  • use the common visual identity and link to associate online tools;
  • respect technology neutrality, make efficient use of public funding and be able to adapt to the best technological offers;
  • not duplicate existing similar free private or public services in the same public space.

Actions to provide free local wireless connectivity are financed through grants or other forms of financial assistance, not including financial instruments. The available budget is allocated in a geographically balanced manner across EU countries in light of the number of proposals received on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Priorities for funding for DSIs

Top priority for funding will be given to ‘building block’ DSIs essential for, and likely to be used in, the setting up, deployment and operation of other DSIs. These building block DSIs take the form of reusable DSIs that provide essential elements for the creation and operation of a range of digital services

Examples include:

  • electronic identification and authentication;
  • secure, traceable electronic delivery of documents;
  • automated translation for Europe-wide digital services; and
  • secure electronic invoicing.

More details about eligibility criteria and priorities for funding may be found in Article 6 of the regulation and its annex.


It has applied since 1 January 2014.


For more information, see:


Technology neutrality: the freedom of individuals and organisations to choose the most appropriate and suitable technology for their needs. Products, services or regulatory frameworks taking into account the principle of technology neutrality neither impose nor discriminate in favour of the use of a particular type of technology.


Regulation (EU) No (EU) No 283/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2014 on guidelines for trans-European networks in the area of telecommunications infrastructure and repealing Decision No 1336/97/EC (OJ L 86, 21.3.2014, pp. 14-26)

Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) No 283/2014 have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Regulation (EU) No 2017/1953 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2017 amending Regulations (EU) No 1316/2013 and (EU) No 283/2014 as regards the promotion of internet connectivity in local communities (OJ L 286, 1.11.2017, pp. 1-8)

Regulation (EU) No (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility, amending Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 680/2007 and (EC) No 67/2010 (OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, pp. 129-171)

See consolidated version.

last update 18.01.2019