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.

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

The ‘ASEAN way’: what it is, how it must change for the future

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

Colombia: Santos thanks the EU for its support to the peace process

The smartest cyber investment is collective action. Here’s why

CDNIFY @ TheNextWeb 2014

How responsible businesses can step forward to fight coronavirus

Colourism: How skin-tone bias affects racial equality at work

No tears for Cyprus in Brussels and Moscow

Technology is a means, not an end

Sexual education in a school at the Brazilian Amazon

How do we design an inclusive energy transition?

The EU will always have a stable partner in Montenegro, says President Đukanović

Financial system risk is elevated and global standards are essential in managing cross-border infrastructure investment

The different ways of care: Is there a general rule to follow?

EU mobilises further €15.2 million humanitarian support for food safety, epidemics preparedness and support to people in conflict areas in Latin America and Caribbean

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

China in my eyes

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “If we do not do properly the Paris agreement, then all 16 remaining goals will be undermined”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautions from Davos

These are the fastest trains in the world

Electronic cigarettes, a better alternative or a well-advertised product

Germany hides its own banks’ problems

EU-UK: A deal synonymous to ‘remain’, England pays the Irish price

New rules on drivers’ working conditions and fair competition in road transport

Dieselgate: Parliament calls for mandatory retrofits of polluting cars

The refugee crisis seen through the eyes of a young doctor from Turkey

€5 billion of EU energy efficiency project money spent on “comfort”

Alcohol abuse kills three million people a year, most of them men – WHO report

European Youth Forum demands immediate action & binding agreement on climate change

Vote at 16 in Malta: next stop Europe

Britain offers more money for an orderly Brexit but the Irish question resurges

What options the new President of Ukraine has?

South Sudan: ‘Outraged’ UN experts say ongoing widespread human rights violations may amount to war crimes

7 amazing ways artificial intelligence is used in healthcare

Learn from the margin, not the center: digital innovation with social impact as transformative force bridging digital divide

Eurozone cannot endure any longer youth marginalisation

‘Young people care about peace’: UN Youth Envoy delivers key message to Security Council

It’s 100 years since US women got the right to vote, but how has gender equality changed?

MEPs agree on new rules to tax digital companies’ revenues

Here are six bold ideas to accelerate sustainable energy innovation

Energy Union: deals on efficiency targets and governance

3 charts to help you understand the American shale boom

EU27 leaders unite on Brexit Guidelines ahead of “tough negotiations” with Theresa May

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

New Report Offers Global Outlook on Efforts to Beat Plastic Pollution

China revisited by the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

Germany takes cover from Trump in Eurozone and decides to pay for it

Europe provides financial support to African countries while Turkey denies to change terrorism laws jeopardising the EU deal

Environment Committee MEPs vote to upgrade EU civil protection capacity

Trump doesn’t only target Germany, aims to crack the entire EU

Commission unveils its first Strategic Foresight Report: charting the course towards a more resilient Europe

The Council of Europe adopts Recommendation on young people’s access to rights

Peacekeeping chief highlights challenges facing UN Police

Brazil identifies a clear pathway for aligning its transfer pricing framework with the OECD standard

Why education and accountability are important for developing countries?

Syrian Government’s ‘different understanding’ of UN role, a ‘very serious challenge’ – Special Envoy

A 550 km-long mass of rotting seaweed is heading for Mexico’s pristine beaches

War in Syria: ‘Carnage’, flouting of rights and international law, must stop: Guterres

South Africa’s cabinet is now 50% women for the first time ever

Intel, Almunia and 1 billion euros for unfair potatoes

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