First Juncker Plan project in Malta brings broadband to 70,000 homes
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and GO p.l.c. (GO) have signed a €28 million loan to finance GO’s investments in telecommunication infrastructure. GO is listed on the Malta Stock Exchange and is the country’s leading telecommunication services company. The EIB loan is backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, the Juncker Plan. The project is the first entirely located in Malta to benefit from the EFSI guarantee.
The project, to be implemented over three years, will support GO’s investments targeting a fixed line and mobile very high capacity (VHC) network throughout Malta. GO will use the EIB loan to roll out its Fibre to the Home (FTTH) network to cover more than 70,000 additional households. This project is part of an ongoing multi-year investment programme through which GO is strengthening its infrastructure, introducing new technologies and improving operations with the objective of enhancing customer experience.
European Commissioner Karmenu Vella said: “I am very happy that Malta has finally received its first direct EIB loan under the Juncker Plan. It is extremely positive news that people living and working in Malta will soon benefit from improved and more extensive high speed broadband. I encourage more Maltese companies to take advantage of the financial support offered both under the Juncker Plan and the future InvestEU Programme as of 2021.”
EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco said: “The financing of infrastructural networks is one of the pillars in the history of the EIB and telecommunication networks have been added to more traditional infrastructures such as roads, highways, railways and electricity networks. A rapid implementation of latest generation broadband technology is crucial for the population and the Maltese economy.“
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About the Juncker Plan
The Investment Plan for Europe – the Juncker Plan – was launched in November 2014 to reverse the downward trend in investment levels and put Europe on the path to economic recovery. Its innovative approach based on the use of an EU budget guarantee provided to the EIB Group has enabled and continues to enable substantial public and private sector funds to be mobilised for investment into strategic sectors of the European economy. The Juncker Plan has already generated €450.6 billion of investment, and supported more than one million start-ups and SMEs across Europe.