Israel’s Ministry of Communications (MoC) has announced the results of a tender for the deployment of fibre-optic infrastructure in parts of the country that are not expected to be reached with commercial rollouts. In a press release regarding the development, the MoC confirmed that a total of 287,000 premises across 330 settlements are expected to gain access to fibre-based connectivity as a result of the tender. A total of ten (unnamed) companies submitted winning bids to deploy fibre in those areas where local fixed line incumbent Bezeq has said it does not intend to deploy its own infrastructure. As per the licences issued to the winning bidders, there will be a requirement for their networks to be rolled out within 15 months, while companies will also be required to offer access to the infrastructure they deploy on a wholesale basis.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in September 2020 the Israeli government approved a plan put forward by an inter-ministerial team for the deployment of ‘ultra-fast’ broadband services, including the provision to conduct tenders in ‘Incentive Areas’ which would be subsidised via an ‘Incentive Fund’; the latter is being funded through an additional 0.5% tax levied on the revenues of all Israeli communications licence holders whose turnover exceeds ILS10 million (USD3 million).