Summary of broadband development in Latvia
The national broadband plan of Latvia meets the high-speed internet coverage targets of the DAE for 2020. Through the broadband project, the coverage will be improved for the rural regions of Latvia as operators will be able to provide access services using neutral passive optical infrastructure supported by state aid programme. Latvia supports the Gigabit society targets in the policy plan for the electronic communications sector 2018-2020. The new Electronic communications sector development plan for 2021-2027 is expected in 2021. The national 5G roadmap was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers in February 2020.
National broadband strategy and policy
- The Ministry of Transport (Satiksmes ministrija) is responsible for developing electronic communications policy and legislative acts (laws and Cabinet Regulations) as well as implementing Latvia’s broadband policies.
- The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development (Vides aizsardzības un reģionālās attīstības ministrija) is responsible for e-governance initiatives, state information technology affairs and development of national frequency and numbering plans.
- The Public Utilities Commission (Sabiedrisko pakalpojumu regulēšanas komisija) is responsible for regulation and supervision of the electronic communications sector.
- The Competition Council (Konkurences padome) acts as national competence centre, promotes competition in all sectors and aims at ensuring free and fair competition environment to every market participant.
- The Latvia State Radio and Television Centre (Latvijas Valsts radio un televīzijas centrs, LVRTC) implements the broadband deployment project.
Main aims for broadband development
Latvia’s national broadband strategy (Nākamās paaudzes platjoslas elektronisko sakaru tīklu attīstības koncepcija 2013.-2020.gadam) was adopted in 2013, amended in 2016. Three components of the electronic communications network are discussed in the strategy – backbone network, transport network and subscriber lines (“last mile”). Also a description of the present situation and an analysis of strengths and weaknesses is provided. Latvia has one of Europe’s most extensive FTTX-networks and is willing to extend this network to provide nation-wide high speed access by 2020. Latvia supports the Gigabit society targets in the Plan for the electronic communications sector 2018-2020.
The new Electronic communications sector development plan for 2021-2027 is drafted and expected to be announced in 2021. The plan will regulate communications sector policy throughout the territory of Latvia. The target groups of the plan are electronic communications enterprises, planning regions, local governments and residents. The plan aims to facilitate the transition towards very high capacity communications networks capable of providing end-users with Internet access services with data transmission speeds of at least 100 Mbps in both urban and rural areas.
Given the limited amount of public funding available, the efforts will concentrate, without replacing private investment, in areas where, for economic reasons, electronic communications operators have no interest in deploying infrastructure or do so insufficiently. to further the European Union's strategic objectives for electronic communications. The plan aims also at providing the availability of equal and high-quality electronic communications services throughout the territory of Latvia to all residents, state and local government institutions, enterprises and socio-economic driving forces.
The plan sets out two lines of action:
- Development of broadband electronic communications infrastructure in line with the Connectivity Communication,
- Security of electronic communications networks and services.
Main measures for broadband development
- Regulation measures: Regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers ensure the possibility to intervene in common projects with other merchants for investors who develop optical fibre networks (Article 43).
- The implementation of the broadband project is progressing at a good pace. Supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the project is deploying dark fibre and access points up to the centre of municipalities in rural areas currently not served by NGN and where there are no plans for NGN development (‘white’ areas defined according to EU broadband guidelines). Private providers have to deliver the last mile, for which no public support is foreseen.
- Latvian Parliament adopted transposition measures of the Cost Reduction Directive, in particular the new Law on high-speed broadband networks, in April 2017.
Data on broadband development and technologies in Latvia
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
- Summary of the Latvian Broadband Strategy - Concept for the Development of Next Generation Broadband Electronic Communications Networks 2013-2020 (national broadband strategy)
- Study on National Broadband Plans in the EU-28
- Guide to High-Speed Broadband Investment
- Latvia - country reports on performances in digitisation: connectivity, digital skills, digital public services and more
- Mobile and fixed broadband prices in Europe at the end of 2019
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe 2019
- Elektronisko sakaru nozares attīstības plāns 2021. - 2027.gadam
- Nākamās paaudzes platjoslas elektronisko sakaru tīklu attīstības koncepcija 2013.-2020.gadam
- Platjoslas projekts, LVRTC