August 20, 2019 / 11:57 AM / a month ago

EU approves 60 million euros of state aid for Austria's broadband network

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Austria’s plan to provide 60 million euros ($66.5 million) for the rollout of ultra-fast broadband internet services in remote rural areas of the Carinthia region has won approval from the European Union.

The move is part of an Austrian government plans to have a 100 Mbit per second broadband network available in almost every corner of the mountainous, largely agricultural country by the end of 2020.

It also plans to roll out 5G services in its nine provincial capitals.

The EU executive said on Tuesday public support for a newly established company owned by the state of Carinthia would enable internet speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) in underserved rural areas and could be upgraded to provide download speeds of one gigabit (1000 Mbps).

“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 European Commission said in a statement.

Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by David Holmes

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