Spain goes one step further to try to ensure that everyone has access to a good connection. The Congress of Deputies has approved the new General Telecommunications Law, which establishes that as of 2023, every connection in Spain must offer at least 100 Mbps.
This new law represents a advance two years with respect to the previous objective, where it was established that it would be for the year 2025 when the connections in Spain should reach this minimum speed.
The difficulty of covering that last 10%
The text has had a large majority of votes in favor. The new law states that from June 2023it will be mandatory for all internet connections, both broadband and mobile, to have a speed of at least 100 Mbps. The Digital Spain strategy pointed to 2025 as the date for this objective, but an amendment introduced has changed it to mid-2023 as new date.
The text introduces modification of the universal service, which will include the Internet connection and must be provided by all operators. In this reform, this minimum service will be 10 Mbps, expandable to 30 Mbps. With the idea of expanding it to 100 Mbps. It will be then when it is established that all operators must at least offer this speed. On the contrary, the telephone booths disappear from this universal service, as part of its extinction.
Offering this speed in large cities is simple and in most Spanish capitals it is fulfilled. However, in the rural world there are still municipalities that do not have access to this internet connection. Even with everything, according to the Government, at present, the networks reach a coverage of 95.2% of the population for a speed of 30 Mbps and 87.6% for a speed of 100 Mbps.
These data correspond to mid-2020 and come from a Broadband Coverage Report carried out together with the National Institute of Statistics (INE). This is the last major report on broadband coverage and it suggests How has that figure improved in recent years?. It is understood that if the Government has decided to advance the objective of 100%, it is because it sees how the forecasts are optimistic in order to meet it.
If we look at the 30 Mbps figure, coverage in 2020 already reached 95%. During these years, projects have been carried out such as the Broadband Extension Plan (PEBA-NGA), with a budget of some 1,100 million euros, which ends in 2023 and is expected to help expand coverage from 100 Mbps to 92 .7%. Other additional projects will be needed to achieve the new goal June 2023.
The expansion of internet coverage has a great political consensus. It will be necessary to see if this unit, so unusual, contributes to Spain consolidating itself as one of the European benchmarks in terms of internet coverage, being well above the European average, but still far from covering the entire population.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism