Background information

View some frequently asked questions relating to background information for the project.​

Frequently asked questions

State aid refers to forms of assistance (including funding) given by a public body to any undertaking or business which is providing goods and services in a particular commercial market and where such assistance has the potential to distort competition between commercial suppliers and affect trade between member states of the European Union

The European Commission monitors and controls State aid in the EU. Member States, like the UK Government, are obliged to notify and seek approval from the Commission before granting State aid. This gives the Commission the opportunity to approve or refuse to approve the proposed measure. In 2012, The Government has secured approval from the Commission. This scheme for Broadband Infrastructure investment. This is being managed through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and the National Competence Centre. Public bodies like the County Council have to notify the National Competence Centre of their intention to invest public funds (State aid) to extend broadband networks and secure clearance to do so – this means we have to demonstrate that certain processes and consultations have been undertaken on how and where this aid will be invested and that the UK Broadband Technology Guidelines will be met. This ensures that public funds are only invested in broadband infrastructure in areas of market failure where there are no credible commercial plans for the foreseeable future. It also aims to ensure that public funds do not unreasonably benefit one telecoms provider over another in a competitive market.