ECONOMY

EU voucher scheme to boost superfast internet take-up

eu-voucher-scheme-to-boost-superfast-internet-take-up

The European Commission has approved under European Union state aid rules a voucher scheme to support the take-up in Greece of broadband services with download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second.

The measure will contribute toward reducing the digital divide, while limiting distortions in competition.

“The Greek superfast broadband project aims to increase the number of consumers adopting the superfast broadband services,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Monday.

“The voucher scheme will help more people use higher speed broadband services in areas where suitable infrastructure is available but insufficiently used. The scheme will contribute to bridging the long-standing digital divide in Greece, in line with the objectives of the EU’s Digital Single Market, while ensuring that competition is not unduly distorted.”

The Greek authorities aim to increase the number of consumers using superfast broadband services, which Greece defines as broadband services ensuring download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps), readily upgradable to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).

Infrastructure able to provide these broadband services is already available in the country, but take-up is very low.

The vouchers will support increased take-up by covering part of the set-up costs and of the monthly fee for a maximum of 24 months.

Users will be able to activate the vouchers until March 31, 2020.