State aid: Commission approves €400 million of public support for very high-speed networks in Spain

barcelona

Calle Gran Vía, Madrid, Spain (Florian Wehde, Unsplash)

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


The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, €400 million of public support to deploy very high-speed broadband networks in Spain. The scheme will benefit consumers and businesses in areas with insufficient connectivity in Spain.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy said: “Spanish consumers and businesses should benefit from the full potential of digital growth, regardless of where they are located. This measure will address the digital divide between urban and rural areas in Spain. With this decision, we again endorse the use of public funds for high-speed internet services to households and businesses in areas where private investment is insufficient”.

The scheme has a budget of €400 million and will run from 2020 to 2022. It aims to address connectivity deficits across Spain, and to improve and accelerate coverage with very high-speed networks, in order to achieve the internet connectivity necessary to support the European Digital Single Market.

The measure will support the rollout of networks capable of providing upload and download speeds of 300 megabits per second (Mbps), upgradeable to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), to the targeted areas.

The new networks will cover areas where no high-speed network offering download speeds of at least 30 Mbps download is already present or planned in the near future. To a lesser extent, it will also cover areas where one such high-speed network is already present or planned in the near future, but where there is no network in place or planned capable of providing more than 100 Mbps download. The new networks will also provide access to improved broadband services, which will stimulate the development of a modern digital economy.

The Spanish authorities have developed a comprehensive mapping of currently available infrastructure and carried out public consultations in order to determine the target areas. Further public consultations will be carried out to ensure that distortions of competition are limited to a minimum.

All networks funded under the measure will offer wholesale access to all operators on an open, transparent and non-discriminatory basis, and will therefore incentivise private investments in the provision of high-speed internet services 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 Spanish 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

The measure approved today is a prolongation of a previous Spanish scheme to support the roll out of Next Generation Access (NGA) networks in underserved areas, approved by the Commission in 2013.

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 connecting all European households with very high-speed 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.

The existing 2013 Broadband Guidelines allow for such public investments where a market failure exists and where these investments bring a significant improvement (step change). This is also subject to certain other parameters to protect competition and private investment incentives.

The non-confidential version of the current decision will be made available under case number SA.53925 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.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Libyans continue ‘spilling their blood on the battlefield’ as fight for Tripoli rages on

25 years after population conference, women still face challenges to ‘well-being and human rights’, says UN chief

Norway has successfully enforced its foreign bribery laws but faces potential obstacles

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

An Easter Special: Social protection of migrants in Europe as seen through the eyes of European youth

Commission hardens its stance against carmakers ensuring emissions reductions targets

How electrification will make the world more inclusive

Will the outcome of the UK referendum “calm” the financial markets?

Why do thousands of migrants need to be drowned for Brussels to wake up?

Boris ‘single-handed’ threatens mainland Europe; can he afford a no-deal Brexit?

German banks suffer of nausea amidst rough seas

A Sting Exclusive: “The Digital Economy and Industry are no longer opposing terms”, Commissioner Oettinger underlines live from European Business Summit 2015

Tomorrow’s UK general election: Will Tories win majority to shoot an abrupt Brexit or a hung parliament will prolong January’s exit to 2050?

EU integration: MEPs want to end permanent opt-outs from EU law

UN News Daily #UNGA Guide: Mandela Peace Summit, Global Goals, Youth and Yemen

De Gucht: More gaffes with the talks on the EU-US free trade agreement

This credit card has a carbon-emission spending limit

Six steps that can help us to tackle homelessness

UN announces roadmap to Climate Summit in 2019, a ‘critical year’ for climate action

EU cross-border payments outside Eurozone: MEPs scrap excessive fees

These 4 scenarios show how we might be working in the future

What Keynes can teach us about government debt today

Parental leave: why we can’t wait a century for equal rights for women

Brexit: MEPs concerned over reported UK registration plans for EU27 citizens

New Eurobarometer survey shows: The majority of Europeans think the EU should propose additional measures to address air quality problems

A roadmap for destination management in the digital economy

Impressions of China

UN rights expert calls for end to ‘purgatory’ of ‘international inaction’ facing Myanmar’s remaining Rohingya

Marginalized groups hit hardest by inequality and stigma in cities

Humanitarian Aid: additional €50 million to tackle drought in the Horn of Africa

Here’s how a circular economy could change the world by 2030

Releasing trapped value is key to success in the digital world

Beyond self-regulation: dealing with Europe’s consumption problem

Industrial price dive may lead to point of no return

Myanmar: New UN envoy offers to serve ‘as a bridge’, recognizes ‘positive steps’ over Rakhine state

Τhe EU Refugee Crisis: a day in the life of a Refugee in Greece

UN chief ‘alarmed’ by violations of UN-backed ceasefire in Libya

London, Berlin, Paris to fight over EU budget

World Food Day: here’s what the UN is doing to fix ‘intolerable’ wrong of hunger

Why precision medicine is the future of healthcare

The world’s coastal cities are going under. Here’s how some are fighting back

This is the first ever photo of a black hole

Migration and rule of law on next ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly agenda

With the right leadership, sustainable finance can help us shift to a low-carbon economy

As human genome editing moves from the lab to the clinic, the ethical debate is no longer hypothetical

Security Council approves ‘historic’ political Haiti mission, ending UN peacekeeping role in the country

rescEU assets mobilised to help Greece fight devastating forest fires

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

Country origin ‘best predictor of outcome’ for children with cancer, UN experts say

FROM THE FIELD: Green shoots of peace in South Sudan

We must learn and change after Haiti sexual abuse scandal -Oxfam chief

Europe divided: 30 years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall

FROM THE FIELD: Sailing a traditional and sustainable path in Fiji’s tropical waters

Yemen ceasefire deal: ‘Potential’ now to restore humanitarian lifeline to millions

Europeans are living beyond Earth’s means

How do we build an ethical framework for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Manufacturers Get Smarter for Industry 4.0

Commission makes it easier for citizens to access health data securely across borders

Q&A on the 19th China-EU Summit to be held on 01-02 June 2017 in Brussels

1.1 billion people still lack electricity. This could be the solution

More Stings?

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