This call of the UNICO Redes 5G programme will provide fibre optic connection to sites located in rural areas in municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants, facilitating access to new 5G services and applications.
The Official State Gazette has published the call for applications for aid to provide fibre optic backhaul connections – including active and passive elements – to public mobile telephony network sites that do not have such a connection, with the aim of enabling 75% of the population to be connected to 5G in priority bands by 2025.
This aid will enable operators to provide 5G connections to municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants in 50 provinces, fostering economic development in geographic areas with low population density and promoting access to new services and applications associated with this technology.
The UNICO Networks 5G fibre optic backhaul call is endowed with 450 million euros for the period 2022-2023 and financed by Next Generation EU funds. The European Commission authorised the funding in mid-October, stating that it “will help consumers and businesses in rural areas to access high-quality mobile services”.
This programme of aid for fibre-to-the-wire connections, including active equipment, is aimed at nationally authorised operators or groups of companies in which there is at least one operator and which present projects that provide the backhaul connection set at public mobile telephone network sites in municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants.
With these financial resources, beneficiaries will be able to finance investments and expenses associated with the development of the selected project, from infrastructure and civil works to equipment and materials.
The call for applications establishes provincial batches with budgets per province according to the annex, and with an award system that allows for several winners per district, with the aim of maximising the number of beneficiaries of the aid.
The deadline to apply for these grants is 23.59 hours on 14 November.
About the UNICO Networks 5G programme
The Universalisation of Digital Infrastructures for Cohesion (UNICO) programme serves as a framework for different calls for proposals to facilitate the universalisation of access to ultra-fast broadband and the extension of 5G.
Under the umbrella of UNICO Redes 5G are those grants aimed at boosting the deployment of this technology, as well as the services and applications available for 5G in municipalities with less than 10,000 inhabitants. The call to be published soon is limited to municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants.