The electronic communications sector development plan for 2021-2027 will promote the development of communication networks in Latvia

Today, on October 19, the Government adopted the Electronic Communications Sector Development Plan for 2021-2027 (hereinafter – the Plan).

Its aim is to facilitate the transition to very high-performance electronic communications networks capable of providing end-users with broadband access services with data transmission speeds of at least 100 Mbit / s in both urban and rural areas.

Today, on October 19, the Government adopted the Electronic Communications Sector Development Plan for 2021-2027 (hereinafter – the Plan). Its aim is to facilitate the transition to very high-performance electronic communications networks capable of providing end-users with broadband access services with data transmission speeds of at least 100 Mbit / s in both urban and rural areas.

The plan identifies two lines of action: developing broadband electronic communications infrastructure and facilitating the deployment of electronic communications networks and reducing costs.

The development of broadband electronic communications infrastructure envisages the development of the “middle” and “last” mile infrastructure. It is planned that the “average mile” will be implemented according to the principles of the publicly managed network model, the project implementers will be selected through a tender procedure, but the “last mile” will be implemented according to the privately managed network model, when the planning regions implement projects. Also under this point, the development of electronic communications infrastructure in the “Via Baltica” corridor is envisaged, creating preconditions for electronic communications merchants for the continuous deployment of fifth generation 5G mobile communications. At the same time, technical assistance mechanisms will be provided, including the expansion of the functions and resources of the Broadband Competence Center in Latvia to provide the necessary support to public and private sector stakeholders to promote broadband development.

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Facilitating the deployment of electronic communications networks and reducing costs envisages facilitating the construction process of electronic communications networks. To implement this, the Ministry of Transport will establish a working group, including representatives of the communications industry, the Ministry of Economics, the Public Utilities Commission, the Competition Council and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development. The working groups will develop and submit to the Cabinet of Ministers an informative report on the necessary amendments to the regulatory enactments to reduce the administrative burden for the development of the electronic communications network.

At the same time, the Ministry of Transport will set up a working group of industry experts within the Latvian Broadband Competence Center to address issues relevant to the industry, incl. issues related to the development, implementation and monitoring of state aid program conditions for the development of “last mile” infrastructure projects, industry cooperation model, development of radio and TV broadcasting, education and research development aspects, 5G deployment, development of common regulation on Internet domain name and address blocking.

In co-operation with communications industry associations and local governments, the Electronic Communications Industry Development Plan envisages the preparation of guidelines for local government support on topical issues in the construction and installation of electronic communications networks.

It is planned to attract the resources of the European Regional Development Fund and national co-financing in accordance with the National Development Plan for 2021-2027, the financing of the EU Recovery and Sustainability Mechanism, as well as the financing of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), etc.

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Considering the limited amount of EU funds, in 2024 the Ministry of Transport plans to update the assessment of investment insufficiency for broadband development and submit to the Cabinet of Ministers an informative report on solutions for attracting the necessary funding.

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