State aid: Commission approves €60 million public support for broadband network project in the Carinthia region in Austria

The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, €60 million of public support for the deployment and maintenance of infrastructure necessary for the roll-out of ultrafast broadband internet in remote rural areas of the Carinthia region in Austria. The beneficiary of the aid is a newly established company owned by the state of Carinthia. Third party service providers will be granted access to the broadband network on equal and non-discriminatory terms. The public support will enable internet speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) for both download and upload in underserved rural areas in Carinthia. These networks can be upgraded to provide download speeds of one Gigabit (1000 Mbps). The Commission assessed the measure under its 2013 Broadband Guidelines and concluded that the measure is in line with EU State aid rules. Indeed, the positive effects of the measure on competition in the Austrian broadband market outweigh any potential negative effects brought about by the State aid. The support measure complies with the Digital Agenda for Europe and the 2025 objectives for high speed internet connections set out in the Commission’s Communication on a Gigabit Society. More information will be available, once possible confidentiality issues have been resolved, on the Commission’s competition website, in the State Aid Register under the case number SA.52224.