State aid: Commission approves €300 million public support for the development of ultrafast broadband network in Greece

vestager 2.jpg

European Union, 2019 Source: EC – Audiovisual Service

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, €300 million of public support for Greece’s Ultrafast Broadband Infrastructure Scheme. The scheme will bring ultrafast broadband services to customers in areas with insufficient connectivity in Greece.

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said: “Access to high-performance internet connectivity is crucial for European citizens, for society and the economyWith this decision, the Commission endorses the use of EU funds for the development of ultrafast internet in areas of Greece where private investment is insufficient. This is an important step for competitiveness and innovation in Greece as well as for social and territorial cohesion,enabling Greek households and businesses to benefit fully from the Digital Single Market.”

The Greek Ultrafast Broadband Scheme has an indicative budget of €300 million and is financed through the European Regional Development Fund, the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and private investments.

The scheme aims to advance the deployment of broadband infrastructure capable of delivering download speeds of at least 100 Megabits per second (Mbps), upgradable to 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps), to households, companies and public institutions.

The scheme targets areas where no fast broadband infrastructure offering at least 30 Mbps is currently in place, and where no private investor has shown any interest to invest commercially in the near future.

The aid will be awarded by way of an open, transparent and non-discriminatory selection procedure, with all technologies being able to compete.The subsidised network will offer full access to all operators on a non-discriminatory basis, while the access prices will be under the control of the Greek telecommunications regulator, Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT).The measure will therefore incentivise private investments in further connectivity, facilitate competition and encourage investments in the provision of ultrafast internet access to households and businesses in the target areas.

The Commission assessed the measure under EU State aid rules, in particular its 2013 Broadband Guidelines. The Commission concluded that the scheme’s positive effects on competition in the Greek broadband market outweigh potential negative effects brought about by the public intervention.

On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU State aid rules. The scheme will contribute to the EU strategic objectives set out in the Digital Agenda for Europe and in the Communication “Towards a European Gigabit Society“.

Background

Broadband connectivity is of strategic importance for European growth and innovation in all sectors of the economy, as well as for social and territorial cohesion. The Digital Agenda for Europe acknowledges the socio-economic benefits of broadband and sets targets for broadband development in Europe, including that 50% or more of European households should subscribe to internet connections above 100 Mbps.

The Digital Agenda for Europe was complemented in 2016 by the Gigabit Communication, which defines connectivity objectives to be achieved by 2025,where the development of very high capacity networks able to provide download speeds of at least 100 Mbps, upgradeable to 1 Gbps, should enable the widespread use of products, services and applications in the Digital Single Market.

According to the Digital Economy and Society Index 2019 (DESI 2019), Greece ranks 26th amongst EU countries in fast broadband coverage per household. In Greece, only 66% of homes have access to fast internet of above 30 Mbps, far below the EU coverage of 83%, and less than 1% have access to ultrafast broadband of at least 100 Mbps.

The 2013 Broadband Guidelines allow for public interventions where private initiatives are not sufficient, while protecting private investment and competition as a key driver for investment, better prices and quality of services for consumers and businesses.

The non-confidential version of the current decision will be made available under the case number SA.53135 in the State Aid Register on the DG Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Commission caps charges on card and Internet payments and enforces competition

How farms are getting closer to consumers in the pandemic

GSMA Mobile 360 – Latin America at Mexico City: Intelligently Connecting to a Better Future, in association with The European Sting

Digital Single Market: Cheaper calls to other EU countries as of 15 May

How cities are failing to be inclusive – and what they can do about it

European Parliament approves new copyright rules for the internet

Three UN workers killed following Benghazi car bomb attack, as Security Council meets in emergency session, honours their ‘ultimate sacrifice’

5 charts that explain big challenges facing Italy’s new government

Sustainable development demands a broader vision, says new OECD Development Centre report

Global Cooperation for Local Action: Fighting antimicrobial resistance

Don’t take African generosity towards refugees for granted, says UN refugee chief

MWC 2016 LIVE: Zuckerberg warns mobile industry not to ignore the unconnected

Carnage must stop in northwest Syria demands Lowcock, as attacks intensify

Historian Niall Ferguson on what the pandemic means for the global economy, geopolitics – and parties

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

The EU slams Theresa May’s Brexit option; sets base for own European defense, security platform

Syrian Constitutional Committee a ‘sign of hope’: UN envoy tells Security Council

Education should be like everything else. An on-demand service

Manipulating privacy and reaping the benefits of technology

European Commission presents comprehensive approach for the modernisation of the World Trade Organisation

We’ll succeed together

How to stop plastic pollution at source

What if Trump wins the November election and Renzi loses the December referendum?

‘Virtual Biopsy’ device detects skin tumours in 15 minutes

Why remote working doesn’t have to mean alienated employees

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

Burned in the Amazonian forest: Your health may be in danger

Human rights breaches in Nigeria and Burundi

8 amazing facts to help you understand China today

The world’s most expensive places to own a home

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

‘Whole spectrum of Afghan society’ must get behind peace talks, UN envoy tells Security Council

New ECB boss quizzed for the first time by Economic Affairs Committee

Eurozone: Austerity brings new political tremors

Why a healthy planet and a healthy economy go hand-in-hand

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: violence surges in Nigeria, anti-Semitism on the march, taxing pollution to tackle climate crisis, and more

We must stop turning a blind eye to the world’s health crises

UN health agency launches week of action to ban lead paint

More attacks, ‘persisting security challenges’ threaten progress in West Africa, Sahel

Out with the old: Young People transforming Humanitarian Action

Blockchain can change the face of renewable energy in Africa. Here’s how

Nuclear non-proliferation treaty an ‘essential pillar’ of international peace, says UN chief

Climate change update: will the UN member states regain momentum despite the little progress at COP23?

Climate change and health: a much needed multidisciplinary approach

Will Western Balkans respond positively to EU initiatives?

Progress toward sustainable development is seriously off-track

Israeli settlements remain ‘flagrant violation’ of international law, UN envoy tells Security Council

Mining the deep seabed will harm biodiversity. We need to talk about it

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan hit record high – UN

Here’s how one business leader is tackling injustice: It starts with personal commitment

There isn’t a single country on track to make the UN’s targets for gender equality

Commission presents its response to Antisemitism and a survey showing Antisemitism is on the rise in the EU

Three things Nigeria must do to end extreme poverty

Sudan: UN chief deplores excessive force used against pro-democracy protesters, calls on military and civilian leaders to ‘stay the course’ in negotiations

Ocean Conference has potential to be a ‘global game-changer’

EP Brexit Steering Group calls on the UK to overcome the deadlock

How can we prepare for the post-coronavirus era? A view from Japan

UN expert ‘shocked’ by Egyptian reprisals against human rights defenders she met

Japan initiates WTO dispute complaint against Korean duties on steel

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s