The European Commission has approved the plan proposed by the Spanish government to encourage the provision of broad band Internet conexion in some of Spain’s remote rural areas. Brussels has even agreed to help finance the scheme.
Spain’s socialist government wants broadband Internet access to be available in rural communities regarded as too remote to be profitable by Spanish telephone companies and internet providers. State subsidies of up to 26.3 million euros and 120 million euros of interest-free loans will be offered in an attempt to extend the availability of fast Internet access all over Spain.
After studying the plan to ensure that the subsidies would not represent a violation of the principle of fair competition within the telecommunications industry, the European Commission has decided that the subsidies offered within the “national plan to extend broad band access to rural and isolated areas” will only be used to finance the introduction of broadband in those places considered to be at a technological disadvantage because of their location or low population.
The call for tender was published on 22nd March and extends to all kinds of internet provider companies and technology (ADSL, cable, wireless, satellite…). Applications will be accepted until 23rd April.
More information here (in Spanish).