With the aid approved this year by the government, telecommunications operators will bring fiber to more than 1.15 million homes and business premises of more than 2,300 unique entities of population in non-profitable areas, which means that it will benefit just over two million inhabitants, mainly living in rural areas, which can directly benefit rural tourism companies.
The mentioned aids are included in the call 2017 of the new generation Broadband Extension Program (PEBA-NGA) of the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, whose objective is to guarantee high fixed broadband connectivity to areas without current or planned coverage, either because they are small municipalities or because the revenues or adoption prospects are lower to those that will take ultra-fast broadband coverage of at least 100 Megabits by second (Mbps), mostly with projects of fibre.
In the announcement of 2017, the program comprises helps by almost 105 million (25 in the subsidy modality and 80 in the ERDF advance modality), which represents a significant increase compared to 2016. The aid covers between 40 and 80 % of the cost of projects, so that if you add in what the operators themselves contribute, the 138 projects approved will generate an induced investment of 169,5 million.
The regions where the largest investment will be mobilised are Andalusia (33.9 million) and, secondly, Galicia, with 15.2 million euros, since although the Valencian Community has a larger budget (25.2 million) the maximum aid intensity in this region is 80% compared to 55% in the Valencian Community. The differences in the aid intensity are due to a number of factors, such as orographic conditions, the size of the localities, the type of project or the resources available.
Opportunity for rural tourism
Enhancing connectivity at these points can be a great opportunity to further develop inland tourism. And it is that”the problem of connectivity in the rural world is the main handicap that administration and companies point out, and that becomes a real barrier of access at a time when the need to be connected is part of the fundamental consumer demands of many travelers,”according to a recent study on rural tourism.