The plan approved today in the Council of Ministers offers up to 150 million euros in aids to expand fiber optics in rural and less populated areas, with the main objective of reducing the digital divide and facing the demographic challenge. Aid is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

150 million euros to deploy fiber in 2020 with the PEBA-NGA plan

The minimum speed that the networks deployed with these aids must guarantee is 300 Mbps, scalable to 1 Gbps both up and down, in areas that currently do not have NGA coverage and that do not have plans for deployment in the next three years (white areas), and also in gray areas, where there is only one operator offering between 30 and 100 Mbps and there are no plans for another operator to reach them in the next three years. We remind you that you can consult the map of these areas at this link.

In order to reduce the territorial gap, the government will approve the projects according to the provincial scope of each one, choosing those that benefit the greatest number of population entities possible to reduce the territorial gap.

This program has helped complement the large fiber deployment that Spanish operators have made in recent years, where they have turned Spain into the country with the most extensive fiber optic network in Europe despite the difficult orography. The FTTH fiber it already reaches 80.4% of the Spanish population compared to 34% of the European average. In rural areas, fiber coverage reaches 46%, compared to 21% of the European average.

Coverage will reach 93.1% of the population with this help

Between 2013 and 2019, the Government’s aid program has granted aid to 130 operators for 753 deployment projects at a cost of € 871.40 million, and total aid of € 478.90 million. In 2019, 140.14 million euros in aid were granted, allowing fiber coverage to be given to 705,974 households and 12,760 municipalities.

Once the projects that received aid from previous years are finished, 91% of the Spanish population will have fiber optic coverage. When the projects tendered with the help of 2020 end, the coverage is estimated to reach 93.1% of the population. As we see, we are getting closer and closer to the goal of reaching the total population, where operators such as Movistar estimate that they will shut down the last copper plant in 2024.