Spain to spend 250 million euros to extend ultrafast broadband to the whole country

The UNICO programme targets telecom operators to provide 100 Mbps to 100% of the population by 2025

The new Universalisation of Digital Infrastructures for Cohesion Programme (UNICO) is the framework for measures and investments that will guarantee ultrafast broadband connection throughout the country, covering 100% of the population by 2025. The first call launched by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation is aimed at telecommunications operators whose objective is the deployment of very high speed broadband infrastructures, capable of providing services at speeds of at least 300 Mbps, scalable to 1 Gbps.

This programme will channel one of the main investments of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan in the area of digital connectivity. According to the Ministry, an investment of 4 billion euros is planned to extend connectivity, accelerate the deployment of 5G networks and boost the cybersecurity ecosystem.

The budget for this first call is 250 million euros, the largest annual allocation in the history of broadband extension programmes, with a maximum aid intensity of 80%, which will mobilise a public-private investment of more than 312 million euros. The call includes 52 lots or areas, coinciding with all the Spanish provinces and provincial capitals, in the same way as the previous Broadband Extension Programme (PEBA-NGA). On this occasion, it will allow for the implementation of deployment projects to extend coverage to at least 316,500 real estate units (homes and businesses) located in the areas. Most of them (265,240) will have to be located in white areas, those that do not have network coverage of at least 30 Mbps speed, nor any plans for their provision in the next three years. The remainder are located in grey areas, those areas that only have new generation broadband coverage or where it is planned to be provided within three years by a single operator.