The European Commission plans to invest in global submarine internet cable projects ‘of European interest’ from next year. This is what Politico writes, which has seen an internal document outlining these plans.
The EU wants to reduce its dependence on a small number of undersea internet connections and be less vulnerable to sabotage, writes Politico based on the document. Currently, many submarine cables in the EU are still financed by non-European parties, such as Google and Meta.
This investment would be part of the Digital Networks Act, which European Commissioner Thierry Breton already announced earlier this week talked about. The EC wants this Act to strengthen the European telecom and internet infrastructure by making more money available for this and limiting restrictive measures.
In the document, the EC states that it plans to invest in two types of cable connections. Firstly in a EuroRing, cables that should serve as the core of European internet traffic, and secondly in a Global Ring. The latter concerns ‘strategic, international, global gateway connections’. Furthermore, ‘non-binding advice’ should be drawn up for national governments on a ‘secure subsea infrastructure in Europe’, formulating criteria for the ‘identification and financing of cable projects of European interest’.
Since this document only sets out a strategy, there is a good chance that the plans will be changed in the final formulation of the Digital Networks Act. The European Commission did not respond to Politico’s request for comment.