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Cyprus’ broadband voucher scheme connects 3000 households

“In our journey to digital maturity, affordable high-speed broadband is key for a dynamic digital economy and an accessible and inclusive digital society” states Stelios Himonas of Cyprus’ Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy. Only 2.7% of households in Cyprus, however, have fixed connections above 100 Mbps. In this video, Mr Himonas explains how Cyprus implemented a ‘good practice’ voucher scheme, inspired by the European Broadband Competence Offices Network. By reducing the cost of access for end users, the scheme successfully stimulated take-up by around 3,000 households.

Title over photograph of coastline in Cyprus: 'Cyprus’ broadband voucher scheme connects 3000 households'

Inspired by experiences shared by peers in the BCO Network, Cyprus made use of the EU’s De Minimis Regulation to launch its €620,000 scheme, providing vouchers amounting to 30% of the annual connection cost per subscription, up to a maximum of €360 per year. Cyprus’s four major operators were able to participate, benefiting from a maximum of €200,000 each over three years, in accordance with the EU De Minimis Regulation. Mr Himonas went on to say that “the procedure was simple and straightforward, and the programme was received positively by both operators and the market”.

While the scheme ran, it subsidised three quarters of all new connections (or upgrades) to speeds of at least 100 Mbps during that period.

As Mr Himonas notes, “availability and take-up of high-speed broadband are key elements for the creation of a Gigabit society”. Mr Himonas concludes by underlining how, “throughout this transformation process, collaboration within the EU context, and the BCO Network in particular, is important to achieving our common goals for the European Gigabit Society”.

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European Broadband Competence Offices Network Support Facility