EU OKs $2B Italian Scheme To Roll Out 5G

The EU Commission said on Monday it approved a two billion euro Italian scheme to support the rollout of 5G mobile networks through the Recovery and Resilience Facility, according to a press release.

“This will enable consumers and businesses to access high-quality 5G services, contributing to the economic growth of the country and to the EU’s strategic objectives relating to the digital transition”, EU Commission vice-president Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

Under the scheme, which will run until 30 June 2026, the aid will take the form of direct grants to electronic communications services providers.

The rollout plan includes direct aid in the form of grants to services providers. The purpose of this financing would be to provide the necessary infrastructure by 2026 to ensure mobile speeds of at least 150 Mbps download and 30 Mbps upload in underserved areas of the country, not expected to be reached by commercial offerings.

In its decision, the EU Commission found The measure to be necessary and proportionate in addressing this market failure, with no planned mobile networks that would adequately cover the users in these areas. The plan was also considered an overall incentive to the development of improved services, while including sufficient safeguards to prevent any foreseen distortions to competiton in this market.  

Furthermore, the Commission considered, Broadband connectivity is a strategically important area for European growth and innovation across the entire economy, as well as improving social and territorial cohesion.

Based on the considerations above, the Commission agreed that the measure fulfilled the block’s State Aid rules in  Article 107(3)(c) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

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