CYPRUS: Government to subsidise superfast internet speeds

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Cyprus is to finance superfast internet speeds of over a 100 Mbps from 2019.

Talking to Omega TV, the director of the electronic Ccmmunications department George Komodromos, said the government plans to allocate a budget just short of EUR 1 mln in subsidies for faster internet connections in 2019.

As Komodromos said, the plan will incorporate all Internet service providers with the subsidy given to companies through which the end consumers will benefit.

"Subscribers will be able to choose the provider they want, and our initial thoughts are that as much as 30% of the cost of the service will be subsidised with a ceiling of EUR 30 a month for twelve months," he said.

Komodromos said that if the internet speed increases tenfold, Cyprus’ Gross Domestic Product is expected to increase by up to 1.5%.

Today some 50% of internet users in Cyprus have connections of 10 Mbps, 30% have connections of 30 Mbps while less than 2% have connections of 100 Mbps and above.

The aim is for the subsidy plan to be implemented in 2019, said Komodromos, noting that the government wants to promote the use of faster internet, taking into consideration that the European Union has ruled that every household should have an internet connection of at least 100 Mbps by 2020 – 2025.

The initial project will be a pilot scheme to subsidise over 2,700 connections within 2019.

The government’s decision to grant the subsidy coincides with the period when Internet providers are investing in infrastructures such as fiberoptic networks which will facilitate such connections.