Moncloa launches aid to guarantee Internet in rural areas for €35 per month
The government has called 84.8 million euros in aid for the Internet rural in areas where the connection does not reach 50 megabits per second (Mbps) in the downward direction, after having received the approval of the European Commission. The call, published this Friday in the Official State Gazette (BOE), is financed for the most part by Next Generation funds and will allocate 44.8 million euros to create a platform of network resources that allows the provision of the service with a speed of 100 Mbps downstream.
Likewise, the remaining 40 million euros will be used directly to finance the installation of the service, the equipment and the start-up of the same for users. The maximum price of the service it will be 35 euro and there will be subsidies for the acquisition of equipment up to 600 euros. The aid will be distributed in four zones and operators or groups of companies with an operator among them may attend, being able to award one or more of the zones, so that they can send the aid to the public. Thus, each of the offers will be eligible for a maximum of a quarter of the funds, just over 21 million euros.
Of the endowment for the platform, the Government hopes to transfer 23.7 million euros before end of the year for start-up of the platform and another 21.1 million euros to be delivered in 2023 to cover its expenses until 2025.
As for end users, the Executive will deliver up to 15 million euros this year and 25 million euros to distribute aid between 2023 and 2025. In its explanatory statement, the Government indicates that this aid is “a temporary solution of last resort“until coverage in these areas is achieved with other technologies thanks to the broadband extension program in rural areas, which aims for 100% of the Government to have 100 Mbps coverage by 2025.
Among the users, they will be able to opt for the help individuals, freelancers and self-employed workers, SMEsnon-profit entities and town halls so that they can connect municipal services such as the town hall, the library, firefighter centers or the national police, among others.
the call does not indicate what technology should be used to make these connections, although the public consultation referred to the connection via satellite or terrestrial wireless technology. The winning companies must commit to a continuity of service of 95% in any calendar month and its provision until December 31, 2027. Applications may be submitted until December 5.
For the granting of these subsidies commitments to increase the speed of access to broadband will be valued, the provision of additional services, such as voice over IP, the creation of employment in Spain and the hiring of SMEs, micro-SMEs, the self-employed and ‘startups’ that generate employment in the country or in the EU, among others, according to a statement from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.
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