Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Best Practice – Next generation broadband networks in rural areas (Portugal)

“Deployment of next generation broadband networks in rural areas” is mainly aiming to develop broadband availability in 139 municipalities in Azores and Maderia region.
Share this

Basic information


139 municipalities of the continent's interior and autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira

Source: Google maps

Source: Google maps

Duration of the project

  • The network exploration contracts last 20 years. In begins in 2014, and wholesale offers will be in service.

Number of households supplied

  • Approximetely 242.000 households can be covered


  • GPON PtP fibre optic (the GPON PtP architecture was a result of  the presented proposal, not being a prerequisite thereof)


  • Minimum downstream capacity of 40 Mbps

Building up Organisation

  • The project has been initiated by the Portuguese Government which has made contracts with concessionaires to implement the relevant electronic communications networks.      

Service provider

  • DST Telecom (Zona Norte e Zona Alentejo e Algarve)
  • Fibroglobal (Zona Centro, Zona Açores e Zona Madeira)

Total Costs

  • The total investment costs are estimated at 46.808.360 EUR in the Central Zone, North Zone at 68.742.188 EUR, 39.275.516 EUR in Alentejo and Algarve Zone, Madeira in 5.859.936 EUR and 12.237.226 EUR in Azores Zone.


  • Part of the funding was provided through public funds (including EU funds), namely: 30.259.174 EUR in  Central Zone, 34.895.600 EUR in the North Zone,  23.456.109 EUR in Alentejo and Algarve Zone , Madeira Zone 3.600.000 EUR and 12.237.226 EUR in the Azores Zone.

Average price of standard service

  • Wholesale offer - access conditions
  • Fibroglobal (Central Zone): In March 2013 began the provision of wholesale access to fibre in three municipalities in the central zone, concluding that provision in every county in October 2012.
  • The wholesale offer was available for consultation from November 2012, and its exploration started from March 2013. The retail offers were available from April 2013, after the start of exploration of the network. At this date, the retail operator which makes use of the Fibroglobal's network is PT Communications.

Background information

Unique characteristic

  • Pilot project taking into account the high level of coverage intended as high-speed access to be achieved in rural areas


  • The process is in the final stages of implementation and it is too soon to review the results. Results will be publishes as soon as the evaluation process is finished.


The added value passes for achieving the following objectives:

  • Provision of access to broadband to the population of rural areas
  • Enhancing competitiveness of enterprises and employment generation in rural areas by the provision of innovative services
  • Contribution to the socioeconomic development of rural areas


This measure aims to contribute to equal opportunities for all citizens, promoting digital inclusion and the increasing human capital, contributing to externalities appearance in rural development policy, employment, growth, competitiveness and sustainability of the industries based in these areas.

For more information