Ahead of definitive guidelines to be published later this year, the European Commission (Commission) is consulting on draft guidelines concerning State aid to broadband networks across Europe. The draft guidelines reflect the Commission’s desire to support broadband for rural areas and reduce the European ‘digital divide’: the disparity between broadband access in urban and rural areas. The initiative seeks to allow State aid for the financing of high speed ‘next generation access networks’ to encourage EU-wide high speed broadband coverage.