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Bures wants €1 billion for broadband expansion

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Bures wants €1 billion for broadband expansion
Photo: Belga/Science/APA
09:54 CEST+02:00
Austria's Minister of Infrastructure Doris Bures (SPÖ) insists that €1 billion of public money needs to be invested into the deployment of broadband networks by 2020.

To avoid further budgetary burdens for 2014 and 2015, the money should be invested from 2016 on, Bures said.

Talks on the issue will be held in the finance ministry on Wednesday.

Minister of Finance Michael Spindelegger (ÖVP) has invited Bures and representatives of municipalities and states as well as delegates of telecommunication companies to the talks.

It is not yet clear to which extent the municipalities and provinces would contribute financially.

Bures plans to invest €1 billion - which is half the amount the infrastructure ministry has gained through the auction of licences for mobile phone frequencies. However, she still needs Spindelegger's approval.

Bures said that according to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) full-coverage expansion of broadband networks would cost €5 billion. She said that state investment is necessary as it will not be possible for telecommunication companies to cover all costs.

According to the infrastructure ministry a third of all households in Austria would not have broadband internet if there were no state subsidies. This is due to the fact that it is not profitable for telecommunication companies to invest in rural areas.

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