The European Commission has published for public consultation draft guidelines on the application of EU State aid rules to public funding of broadband networks. The key issue for discussion concerns the public financing of very high speed so-called “next generation access networks”. The Commission position towards public support for broadband network deployment varies from a positive view for areas that lack broadband connectivity to a more critical assessment for areas where private investment is already made or is expected to take place and where competition is effective. Member states and stakeholders are encouraged to submit their views on the proposed text by 22 June 2009. On the basis of comments received, the Commission intends to adopt definitive Broadband Guidelines later this year. The draft Broadband guidelines are available here.