Summary of broadband development in Austria
Austria's national broadband strategy aims at full coverage of symmetric Gigabit connections throughout the country by 2030. It opts for market-driven network roll-out and intends to confine the use of public funds to where they are absolutely necessary, in particular, for areas with the least chance of benefiting from private sector investments. An important basis for the implementation of the broadband strategy was created with amendments to the Telecommunication Act and a 5G strategy in 2018.
National broadband strategy and policy
- Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (Bundesministerium für Klimaschutz, Umwelt, Energie, Mobilität, Innovation und Technologie, BMK) is responsible for development of telecommunications policy and legislation, conducting a centralised policy on frequencies, developing state aid programs for broadband roll-out and awarding contracts for the provision of universal services.
- Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs (Bundesministerium für Digitalisierung und Wirtschaftsstandort) advances digitalisation and digital transformation in Austria; it is responsible for improving the framework conditions for digital transformation and for coordinating and implementing e-government solutions.
- Broadband Bureau (Breitbandbüro) is part of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism (BMLRT) and acts as a national competence centre for communities, federal states and operators in order to promote the deployment of broadband networks in Austria. It supports federal states in their broadband development, establishes contacts between local authorities and operators and answers questions from the communities.
- Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications RTR (Rundfunk- und Telekom Regulierungs-GmbH) acts as the NRA for regulating the telecommunication market.
- Austrian Federal Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt) focuses on stimulating the information society, Digital Agenda any other ICT measures in Austria.
Main aims for broadband development
Austria's broadband strategy 2030 was adopted in August 2019. It aims at full coverage of symmetric Gigabit connections throughout the country by 2030. In addition to the long-term objective, the 2030 strategy also includes five concrete interim goals:
- Phase 1: Full-coverage of ultra-fast broadband connections (100 Mbps) by the end of 2020
- Phase 2: Market launch of 5G in all capital cities by the end of 2020
- Phase 3: Austria as 5G pilot country until the beginning of 2021
- Phase 4: 5G services on major traffic connections by the end of 2023
- Phase 5: Nationwide Gigabit connections, including nationwide coverage of 5G, by the end of 2025
Austria's 5G Strategy was issued in April 2018 and aims at achieving the rollout of the 5G mobile communications standard with optimised framework conditions, and aims at harnessing the associated opportunities for citizens, the economy, industry and science. In the first phase, first pre-commercial 5G trial installations were implemented by mid-2018. In the second phase, the rollout of 5G in all provincial capitals is planned. A third phase will bring 5G service availability to main traffic routes by the end of 2023 and a nationwide 5G availability by the end of 2025.
Main measures for broadband development
- Broadband mapping: Austria has a transmitter infrastructure mapping (Senderkataster) covering mobile and radio transmitter stations. The broadband bureau established the broadband atlas based on the operators data in the beginning of March 2014. Amendments to the Austrian telecommunication act provide the legal basis for the collection and utilisation of better broadband coverage geodata in order to gain more precise analyses of broadband coverage. The atlas is updated every 6 months. Broadband coverage in Austria has been made transparent through the data collection and the presentation tool RTR Netztest.
National and regional broadband financial instruments
In achieving the targets, Austria has set instruments Breitband Austria 2020, financed by EUR 1 billion from the frequency auction:
- BBA 2020-Access: This funding instrument stimulates investments in the extension of broadband access networks to gradually achieve a substantial improvement in broadband penetration of households and enterprises.
- BBA 2020-Backhaul: The focus of this funding framework is the modernisation of existing backhaul facilities to provide NGA networks with sufficient capacity. Accordingly, it results in renewal of existing networks and the connection of base stations ("backhaul").
- BBA 2020-Empty ducts: This funding programme primarily aims at municipalities where high-speed broadband access is not available. The inclusion of empty pipes during municipal civil engineering work will enable the subsequent supply of broadband and the construction costs will be reduced.
- BBA 2020 Connect: This funding call promotes the fibre optic network connections for schools and small and medium-sized enterprises with a funding volume of EUR 30 million.
- BBA 2020-AT (Austrian Electronic Network): The AT:net funding programme has been re-launched by the Federal Chancellery as part of its initiative Promoting Digital Innovation (Digitale Innovation fördern). This programme promotes the use of innovative services and applications based on broadband.
Data on broadband development and technologies in Austria
For the latest data on broadband coverage, subscriptions and penetrations, coverage of different broadband technologies and costs check the scoreboard reports and the country reports of the Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI).
Spectrum assignments for wireless broadband
For details on harmonised spectrum assignments consult the European 5G Observatory.
National publications and press documents
- Study on National Broadband Plans in the EU-28
- Guide to High-Speed Broadband Investment
- Broadband Connectivity Reports and Analyses
- Mobile and fixed broadband prices in Europe at the end of 2019
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe 2019
- Nationale Breitbandstrategie 2030
- Wegweiser für den Ausbau Ihrer Infrastruktur
- Planungsleitfaden Breitband
- Breitband Masterplan des Landes Tirol 2019-2023
- Niederösterreich Breitbandinitiative