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Spain’s nation-wide State aid scheme to connect 430,000 people in grey areas

“Spain is the first European country to develop a broadband scheme for grey areas with a geographical scope covering all the nation” states Elena Galindo from Spain’s Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, in this video. Ms Galindo, representing Spain’s national Broadband Competence Office, explains that the scheme is needed as approximately “8-10% of the population living in isolated rural and remote areas could not be covered with fast broadband”. It aims to cover 3.5 million people, of which 430,000 in grey areas, with minimum speeds of 300 Mbps symmetrical, upgradeable to 1 Gbps.

Title over aerial photo of a rural Spanish landscape featuring a town on a low hill surrounded by fields and countryside: 'Spain’s nation-wide State aid scheme to connect 430,000 people in grey areas'

European Broadband Competence Offices Network Support Facility

The scheme was originally approved by the European Commission in 2019, to help close the digital divide. 75% of its total €400 million budget was approved to come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Ms Galindo notes, however, that Next Generation EU, the EU’s new funding package devoted to recovery and resilience and including a significant emphasis on digitalisation, has brought new possibilities for consideration.

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