THE WRAP: UK, EU make tech spends; Moody's negative on EU telcos

Michael Carroll
02 Dec 2011

Finance dominated proceedings this week, with the European Commission revealing a rescue package for its satellite programs, the UK government committing an extra £100 million (€156.9 million) to high-speed broadband, and Malaysian carriers' earnings on the slide.

The EC revealed it will pump an additional €7 billion into its Galileo and European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) satellite programs over the next eight years. The Commission claims its investment offers the financial stability the projects need to deliver economic benefits to the region, provided deployment and operation of the birds is handled by domestic agencies.

Official documents leaked late last year revealed a funding shortfall of €1.7 billion ($2.29 billion) for the Galileo scheme, and stated the set-up would cost €1 billion per year to operate over the 20 years of planned EC running. The Commission estimates Galileo will generate €90 billion per year over that timeframe.

European funding commitments didn’t stop at its satellite program. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) announced plans to spend €2.8 billion on six new knowledge innovation centers between 2014 and 2020.

The centers aim to foster collaboration between research centers, education facilities and businesses in the areas of climate change, sustainable energy and ICT. The new facilities add to 16 sites already up and running.

Tech funding was also on the agenda in the UK, where the government announced an extra £100 million in funding for high-speed broadband rollouts in an autumn budget update.

The pot of cash is assigned to turn ten UK cities into high-speed hubs for fixed and mobile broadband, and will be available to small and medium businesses, enterprise parks, local government and even telcos.

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