Following the adoption of new Commission Guidelines on the funding of broadband projects, the European Commission has authorised a raft of new proposals for broadband installation and extension. Introduced in September 2009 as part of the European Economic Recovery Plan, the Guidelines set out how public funds may be used to incentivise the development of national broadband networks. Since the introduction of the rules the Commission has approved 10 new projects, the latest being projects involving the expansion of connections in rural and sparsely populated parts of Germany and Italy. The Commission stresses the need for aid to be awarded following a public tender and infrastructure to be open to all operators on a technologically neutral basis.