Portuguese govt commits to fund NGNs

The Portuguese government has signed agreements with network operators regarding the development of national next-generation networks. The agreements include a line of credit worth €800 million for investments in new networks and possible EU development funds for rolling out broadband, according to a Telecompaper report.

It said the agreement includes two protocols signed between the Ministry for Communications and the industry groups AET and APDC.

In December the government agreed to include broadband in its economic recovery plans. It has now agreed to legislation to reduce barriers to investment in new networks and ensure equal access to the infrastructure.

The government will also foster work on more fibre ducts, improving fibre access to buildings and supporting rural broadband projects through tax benefits.

In return the operators have agreed to roll out fibre networks supporting 1.5 million users this year, and also cooperate with regulator Anacom on developing the new regulatory framework, Telecompaper says.

Operators are also to promote broadband and develop new services for business and social improvements.