Volition versus feasibility: state aid when aid is looked upon favourably: the broadband example
The European Commission published on September 30, 2009, Guidelines for the application of State aid rules in relation to rapid deployment of broadband networks. These Guidelines are applicable to two markets that are connected, although somewhat different. In “traditional” or “first generation” broadband networks, public intervention mainly relates to rural communities or areas which are economically underdeveloped. Therefore, a corrective nature of the aid is maintained. However, the Guidelines are also applied to accelerate the deployment of next-generation access (NGA) networks, which implies a driving conception of State aid, as this is an emerging market and there are relatively few Europeans who have access to these networks. The analysis of these Guidelines thus seems relevant due to its novelty and, particularly, to the results that it can bring.