State aid: The Italian €200 Million Broadband Voucher Scheme
EU Commission approves €200 Million Voucher Scheme for low-income families in Italy with no high-speed broadband access.
08:39 05 August 2020
A €200 million voucher scheme to bring high-speed broadband services to low-income families across Italy has been approved by the European Commission under EU State aid rules. The scheme aims to bridge the growing digital divide in the county and enable families to telework and have access to educational and other services provided by public service providers, schools and the other types of businesses.
Under the scheme, low-income families with download speeds of at least 30 Megabits per second (Mbps) are eligible for vouchers that they can use to sign up to available providers that offer faster connections. The vouchers can also be used to cover the provision of the necessary equipment such as a personal computer or tablet.
Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president in charge of competition policy, said: "This €200 million Italian voucher scheme will help low-income families in Italy benefit from access to high-speed internet broadband services. Importantly, it will contribute to addressing the country's digital divide which has become even more evident in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.
She added: "The scheme will ensure that eligible families can telework and have access to educational services provided online at no extra costs, through the technology they choose. This decision provides useful guidance to Member States on how this type of voucher schemes can be designed in line with EU State aid rules."
Closer to home, 6G Internet have already commited to providing 20% of their network bandwidth to disadvantaged people in the UK.