The EU’s Gigabit Infrastructure Act (GIA) is set to come into force after receiving the final green light from the European Council, with the legislation expected to accelerate rollout of advanced communications networks in member states.

Approval from the council follows a provisional agreement on the measures struck with the European Parliament earlier this year.

The text of the legislation will be published in the EU’s official journal in the coming days and enter into force three days after that, with an 18 month implementation timeline in place.

GIA was proposed by the European Commission in 2023 and is intended to simplify deployment of high-speed networks and the latest generation of communications technology.

Speaking on behalf of the council, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter noted the act would cut infrastructure costs and minimise the “administrative burden” for operators and the public sector.

The legislation will replace the 2014 broadband directive.

De Sutter added GIA “will allow our citizens to surf faster and have a better digital experience using fibre or 5G”. It is also expected to help the EU meet its digital targets.

The authority noted current price caps for minutes and text messages, due to expire next month, will be extended until June 2032.