Dürnstein is located on the Danube and is one of the many small towns in Lower Austria

Lower Austrian broadband expansion promises equal digital opportunities

Lower Austrian broadband expansion promises equal digital opportunities

The state announced it will invest an additional 500 million euros to ensure rural communities are not left behind in the digitalisation

On Thursday, the state government of Lower Austria announced it will spend an additional 500 million euros on an expansion of fibre-optic networks to rural areas. The money should help fund 200,000 new lines and connections, which in turn, will service 450,000 households with high-speed internet.

The new digital infrastructure will be placed by the Lower Austrian Glass Fibre Infrastructure Company (nöGIG), a publicly owned company that is part of Allianz Group. According to a press release, the network will be open to all internet providers, which will allow for more flexibility and choice for consumers.

High-speed internet in low-density areas

The key concept behind the broadband expansion in Lower Austria is creating equal digital opportunities for urban centres and rural communities. This expansion is a crucial point in the European Union’s push for digitalisation in the post-pandemic world.

One of the major problems for low-density communities, though, is that the cost of building infrastructure greatly outweighs the potential return on investment. This is why, probably, the private sector would never provide high-speed broadband in rural communities.

At the same time, people need access to fibre-optic internet. Thus, the state has decided to invest in expanding coverage. This is actually the second stage of digital infrastructure investment in the federal region. The first stage cost 300 million and is currently still underway.

35,000 households already have access to broadband and more connections are under construction. Furthermore, nöGIG claims that its benchmark is 35,000 households per year, or until every single household in the state has a fibre-optic connection.

Regional Councillor of Lower Austria, Jochen Danninger, was quoted, saying: “There are 450,000 households in rural areas. With this second financial package, we have come a great deal closer to our ambitious goal of ensuring the most comprehensive coverage possible. We have the opportunity to create an infrastructure that enables equal opportunities for rural regions and metropolitan areas."



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