Spain is one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of fiber coverage it means. It is the country in the European Union with the most kilometers of fiber deployed, and the new report of “Broadband coverage in Spain in 2019”Published today by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation through the State Secretariat for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures demonstrates the enormous leap that Spain has taken in a few years.
The report details that the networks of broadband, that is, those with more than 30 Mbps, increased 9% in 2019 until reaching 94% of the Spanish population. The increase has occurred in all the Autonomous Communities, but the growth has been greater in the provinces that were most in the queue for deployments in 2018. For example, coverage, Zamora, Lugo, Ávila or Segovia have increased more than 30% in this last year, standardizing coverage data across the country.
94% of Spaniards can already watch Netflix in 4K
In the case of ultra-fast broadband, with an Internet speed of 100 Mbps, in 2019 these connections reached the 83.6% of the population, 3% more than the previous year. In fixed access networks, it is not surprising that it is the FTTH fiber optic the one that has grown the most. Until June 2019, the 80.4% of the population of Spain had access to this connectivity, increasing by 3% compared to 2018, and rising by half a million households compared to that year.
The reduction of the digital gap is another aspect in which Spain has improved compared to the previous year. The 30 Mbps coverage has improved by 32%, reaching in June 2019 86.6% of the population living in municipalities with less than 100 inhabitants per km2, assuming just over 7 million people.
This large increase is due to the impulse announced by the Government in late 2018 to make operators comply with the obligation to offer 30 Mbps coverage to at least 90% of citizens living in municipalities with less than 5,000 inhabitants. Fiber optic is also found in this increase, which has gone from being present in 38% of these municipalities to 49.8%.
Projections for 2021
The Government has also wanted to calculate what the coverage will be once all the projects that are being executed within the New Generation Broadband Extension Plan (PEBA-NGA Plan). So for late 2021, the coverage of more than 100 Mbps will reach the 91.24% of the Spanish population and at 75.29% of rural areas. This will mean reducing the distance between rural areas (49.8%) compared to the total population (80.4%) right now.
With these figures, objectives such as the one proposed by Telefónica are making more and more sense, where the blue operator states that it expects that by 2024 all its fixed network coverage will be fiber optic.