The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation launches a consultation to identify projects that drive digital transformation and territorial cohesion by extension of very high-speed broadband to 100% of the population and the deployment of 5G networks in low-populated areas

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  • The consultation is launched in the context of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Spanish economy, in order to obtain proposals that, through public-private collaboration, allow to extend the broadband of very high speed and advance the deployment of 5G in low-populated areas
  • Projects must meet the objectives of the Spain Digital 2025 agenda, and in particular the Digital Connectivity and Infrastructure Plan and the 5G Technology Boost Strategy, which forecast an investment of EUR 883 million in the 2021 financial year and a total of EUR 4.32 billion in the period 2021-2025 ​
  • Expressions of interest may take place until 15 February

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation today published a request for expressions of interest (call for interest) in order to receive proposals that, through a model of public-private collaboration, allow to extend the broadband of very high speed and advance 5G coverage in rural areas and areas of low population density, the driving in this way territorial cohesion and digital transformation.

The proposed projects should enable the objectives included in the Plan for Connectivity and Digital Infrastructures and the 5G Technology Boost Strategy, published on 1 December 2020, to be met under the Reconstruction, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Spanish economy.

In the case of the Connectivity Plan, the goals are to reach 100% of the population with coverage of 100 Mbps by 2025 and, as a preliminary milestone, 100% of 30 Mbps broadband coverage by 2023.

In the case of the deployment of 5G networks, the objective is that by 2025 75% of the population has 5G coverage through their priority bands (694-790 MHz, 3,400-3,800 MHz and 24.25-27.5 GHz). But, moreover, given the enormous transformative potential of technology, the purpose is to advance the deployment of 5G networks in rural and dispersed areas, areas where operators would take time to arrive with conventional deployment models. In this way, these areas will be able to obtain the transformative benefits of 5G networks and services from the outing of the box.

Proposals should indicate which instruments would be considered best suited to achieve the above-mentioned purposes, under what conditions and, where appropriate, the interest of actors in participating in such instruments. The appeal is open to all types of private and public actors, such as infrastructure operators, wholesale operators, retail operators, both individually and partners for the project.

The projects will be supported by public funding, so the proposals will have to comply with the European Union's State aid regulatory framework and its implementation in the field of the deployment of broadband networks. Similarly, it is requested that the Instruments of public-private collaboration described in the Royal Decree-Law of 30 December 2020 be approved approving urgent measures for the modernization of the public administration and for the implementation of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

The request for expressions of interest will remain open until February 15 and can be found here.

Digital Spain 2025 ​​

The Plan for Connectivity and Digital Infrastructure, and the 5G Technology Boost Strategy are priorities of the Spain Digital 2025 agenda, presented on July 23, 2020, as well as the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Spanish economy, the general lines of which were presented on October 7, 2020.

The Connectivity Plan is endowed with EUR 583 million by 2021 and plans to invest EUR 2.32 billion by 2025. The 5G Technology Boost Strategy has 300 million in the State's General Budgets for 2021 and a public investment of 2 billion euros until 2025.