National Authority for Management and Regulation in Communications (ANCOM) has published the list of rural localities in Romania yet to be covered by fixed networks with speeds of 30 Mbps or higher for residential users. So far, these localities have not benefited from public intervention measures in this field and no private investment intentions have been declared for the next 3 years on their territory. Although some of them are served by fixed or mobile networks, these networks cannot provide the specified minimum speeds.
Thus, on November 1, 2017, over 3,250 localities in the “NGN – Next Generation Networks – white list” are home to 350,870 households and have a total population of 939,438 inhabitants (according to the National Institute of Statistics – INS, based on data from the most recent population census, in 2011).
Of the 3,251 localities, 1,781 are reportedly served by a fixed electronic communications network that can provide connections with download speeds of at least 2 Mbps but not more than 30 Mbps, while 2,418 are reportedly served by at least one 4G (LTE) mobile access network. Some of these localities may be included in a state aid scheme managed by the MCIS, so that they could be covered by networks with speeds of 30 Mbps or higher.
ANCOM informs electronic communications operators that in the event of installing electronic communications networks in the 3,251 localities in the “NGN white areas” list, they could face the competition of electronic communications operators that receive public funding to achieve the coverage targets in the Digital Agenda for Romania 2020. During the public consultation, electronic communications operators were invited to indicate all the localities where they planned to make – by 1 November 2020 – private investments in fixed networks with speeds of 30 Mbps or higher.
The state aid scheme to be implemented aims at achieving the specific objective O. 2.1 “Extending and roll-out of high-speed broadband communications infrastructure” – Priority Axis 2 of the Competitiveness Operational Programme. Public funds will be used to build electronic communications networks and, possibly, the associated facilities necessary to provide high-speed broadband electronic communications services in the localities that are disadvantaged in this regard.
January 20, 2018 is the deadline for submitting observations to MCIS on the entire documentation of the state aid scheme for infrastructure and network development in “white areas” throughout Romania’s development regions.