Government funds to bring fibre broadband to nearly 400,000 homes and businesses in remote and isolated areas

Aug 7, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, through the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure, has launched the third call for applications for the UNICO Broadband programme.

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Fibre broadband

This aid will allow further progress with the deployment of the necessary infrastructure to ensure adequate connectivity to 100% of the population in Spain, contributing to the universalisation of ultrafast coverage throughout the national territory. A goal set by the Government in the Digital Spain Agenda for 2025.

This new call for applications for aid to bring broadband connection via fibre optics is in addition to the launch of the UNICO Rural Demand programme, which provides satellite connectivity to remote and unpopulated areas via Hispasat. Thanks to these investments and, in particular, the satellite, closing the digital divide is, de facto, a reality in 2023.

Connectivity for more than 380,000 homes and businesses
This call for aid will facilitate the deployment of ultrafast broadband, via fibre optics, in more than 380,000 homes and businesses (76% of homes). This technology is capable of providing services of at least 300 Mbps scalable to 1Gbps, in the identified NGA white and grey areas.

This edition of the UNICO Broadband programme, which follows on from those launched in 2021 and 2022, has a budget of 150 million euros and is aimed at universalising ultrafast broadband coverage via fibre as a tool for social cohesion within the framework of the Recovery Plan.

Qualified telecommunications operators can submit their applications until 15 September for the areas identified as eligible and published on the Ministry’s aid portal, as well as in the Official State Gazette (BOE). Each of the areas of competition includes minimum coverage targets in real estate units (homes and businesses).

UNICO Programme
As part of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, the Universalisation of Infrastructures for Cohesion (UNICO) programme was launched in 2021, with the aim of continuing to expand ultrafast broadband connection in Spain, boosting 5G technology and promoting R&D in 5G Advanced and 6G technologies.

The UNICO-Banda Ancha programme continues the work started in 2013 with the Next Generation Broadband Extension Programme (PEBA), which has helped to place Spain among the leading countries in the EU in the deployment of high-capacity networks with better connectivity.