The European Commission will provide a total amount of nearly €150 million in financial support to 38 projects to deploy safe, secure and sustainable high-performance 5G and digital backbone infrastructure. The projects have been selected among 60 projects submitted under calls for proposals under Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Digital), the funding programme supporting European digital infrastructure.

The EU's financial contribution comes in the form of grants with different co-financing rates. The CEF Digital programme funds both feasibility studies and subsequent deployment projects across the EU.

Under the CEF Digital programme, 2 billion has been made available for grants from the EU’s 2021-2027 budget to co-fund projects in the EU Member States. CEF Digital is part of the larger Connecting Europe Facility programme, which also funds Energy and Transport infrastructure to promote growth, jobs, inclusiveness, and competitiveness.

Under the first Call for Proposals for the digital strand of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Digital), which closed for applications on 20 April 2022, 38 projects have been selected, of the 60 proposals submitted, for a total EU grant support of nearly €150 million. The EU Member States approved the selected projects on 13 December 2022, the Commission has adopted a formal selection decision.

The projects range from deployment of 5G infrastructure for local communities and along major European transport corridors, deployment of submarine cables within and to the EU, to cloud infrastructure interconnections. The following submarine cable projects are among the list:

  • Tusass: Tusass Connect 1
  • Orange: West European Coast Festoon
  • Cinia: Planning of development of the autonomous digital backbone and connecting Europe with global strategic partners
  • AFX-IX telecom: MEDUSA Canary Island Submarine Cable
  • McMahon Design and Management: Portugal Ireland Spain Connecting Europe Subsea
  • CanaLink: Study to deploy new submarine cables in Canary Islands
  • Varna Net Ltd: Black Sea Landing Point
  • AFX-IX telecom: Digital Gateway between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean
  • CanaLink: Submarine cable system between Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in Canary Islands
  • MEO: LDV - Interconnection and Colocation Center
  • Orange: Submarine cable between Marseille (France) and Bizerte (Tunisia)
  • EllaLink: Submarine cable connecting Mauritania to Portugal and Europe
  • EllaLink: Build the future Canary Islands submarine cable connection

More calls for proposals are foreseen in the CEF Digital Work Programme. The second call for proposals has a budget of €240 million and closed on 21 March 2023.