The European commission have approved €300 million in funding to support Greece’s Ultrafast Broadband Infrastructure Scheme.
In January 2015, when Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Syriza party, came into power, he promised to drag Greece out of the deepest depression in it’s economic history. Since then, the economy has grown 2% every year. Even though this economic growth is marginal, 2014 was the first time in a long time since Greece has experienced any kind of economic growth. In order the further progress their economy, the European commission wishes to spend €300 million in funding to support ultrafast broadband in Greece.
In order to promote European growth and innovation in all sectors of the economy, the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) acknowledges that broadband access benefits the general socio-economy of Europe.
The DAE has set targets for broadband development in Europe. One of said target is to increase the number of households with an internet connection about 100 mbps by 50%.
Research conducted by the Digital Economy and Society Index 2019 (DESI 2019) has demonstrated that only 66% of homes in Greece have internet access above 30 mbps. Less than 1% have access to broadband of at least 100 mbps.
The European Commission’s 2013 Broadband Guidelines allow them to intervene in circumstances where countries have insufficient broadband. Such circumstances are where the private initiatives are not upholding the European Commission’s standards.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of the policy in which funds European broadband said: “Access to high-performance internet connectivity is crucial for European citizens, for society and the economy. With this decision, the Commission endorses the use of EU funds for the development of ultrafast internet in areas of Greece where private investment is insufficient. This is an important step for competitiveness and innovation in Greece as well as for social and territorial cohesion, enabling Greek households and businesses to benefit fully from the Digital Single Market.”