Bavarian NGA broadband scheme receives EC approval

21 Nov 2012

The European Commission (EC) has given its approval to a EUR2 billion (USD2.6 billion) support scheme aimed at promoting the development of next generation access (NGA) broadband networks in currently underserved areas of Bavaria. In June 2012 Germany notified plans for supporting an NGA broadband scheme providing for download speeds of at least 50Mbps in commercial and accumulation areas of the federal state. The EC has said that it found the scheme to be in line with EU state aid rules, in particular because it ensures that support is granted only in areas where no commercial NGA network rollout is foreseen in the near future, thereby avoiding the crowding out of private investments. Germany’s telecoms regulator, the Federal Network Agency (FNA), will be consulted on key aspects of projects, such as wholesale access prices and conditions. ‘The Bavarian broadband support scheme contributes to the objectives of the EU Digital Agenda while limiting distortions of competition by supporting only networks that are open to all operators on a non-discriminatory basis,’ commented Joaquin Almunia, vice-president of the EC and Competition Commissioner, adding: ‘This should enable healthy competition on the subsidised networks, allowing local businesses and users to benefit from significantly enhanced broadband services at competitive prices.’

Germany, Federal Network Agency (FNA)