The Prime Minister of Spain has announced plans to ensure that the entire country has access to 300Mb/s fibre broadband by 2021, with an investment of €525 million in the next stage of developments designed to place the country ‘at the global head in availability of digital infrastructure.’
Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy said in a presentation of the Plan for the Extension of Broadband, that Spain must take a leap to become a reference to the challenges of the future, stating that digitisation must take centre stage of the political debate and is a governmental priority.
The plan, called 300 x 100, will cover ‘100 per cent of the Spanish population by 2021’, with a speed of at least 300Mb/s, and fibre optic connections. The €525 million will be allocated between 2018 and 2021. Rajoy said that Spain already enjoys one of the best fixed networks in the world, with high-capacity networks covering 76% of the population – and Market Panorama figures released at the recent FTTH conference in Valencia would serve to verify this, demonstrating a considerable growth with 1,612,371 new FTTH/B subscribers during the period October 2016 to September 2017 (see FTTH Conference 2018: Europe sees 20% growth in fibre subscribers). But, said Rajoy, ‘covering the population does not mean covering the territory, and it is precisely the least populated territory that can benefit the most from technological advances.’
In addition, a complementary plan – with a budget of 45 million – is to guarantee high-speed Internet access for those who live outside the population centres. Mariano Rajoy has referred to other initiatives already underway that go in the same direction, such as the National Smart Territories Plan – which allocates 51 million euros to promote the use of information and communication technologies in rural areas – and the National Rural Development Program 2014-2020. Thanks to these plans, the collaboration of telecommunication operators, the budgetary effort of the Administration and the contribution of European funds, said Rajoy, access will be ensured to next generation networks in the set of population centres of Spain.’