European Council gives green light to Gigabit infrastructure act

The new law aims to simplify permit-granting procedures, reduce costs, and improve transparency. It replaces the 2014 broadband cost reduction directive and is aligned with Europe’s connectivity objectives.


The Council of the European Union has given final approval to the Gigabit Infrastructure Act, a new law aimed at accelerating the deployment of high-speed networks in the EU. The act, which replaces the 2014 Broadband Cost Reduction Directive, seeks to simplify and speed up the rollout of high-speed networks, including fibre and 5G, in line with Europe’s connectivity objectives.

One of the key focuses of the act is to reduce the high costs associated with deploying high-capacity networks, which are often caused by lengthy and complex permit-granting procedures. To address this issue, the Gigabit Infrastructure Act introduces a mandatory conciliation mechanism between public sector bodies and telecom operators, simplifying the permit-granting process and lowering costs. This mechanism will bring transparency and efficiency in planning for operators of public electronic communication networks.

The act also addresses the deployment and access to in-building physical infrastructure, aiming to improve access to information society services for the general public and enterprises. This means better access to digital services for all.

The Gigabit Infrastructure Act allows member states some flexibility, including exceptions for critical national infrastructure.

In terms of consumer protection, the Gigabit Infrastructure Act extends the current retail price caps for regulated intra-EU communications until 2032. This measure ensures that vulnerable consumers are protected from excessive charges, with calls capped at €0.19 per minute and SMS messages at €0.06 per message.

The Gigabit Infrastructure Act will be published in the EU’s Official Journal in the coming days and will come into force three days after publication. It will then apply 18 months later, with specific provisions being implemented at a later stage.