The EIB approved two loans for the deployment of a Next Generation Access network to two telecom companies in Portugal. The objective of these operations is to set up two different networks, with the Fibre To The Home (FTTH) technology, to offer advanced high speed broadband services throughout Portugal. The relevant contracts were signed this morning in Lisbon.

The beneficiaries of these loans are:

  • Portugal Telecom SGPS, the incumbent telecom group in Portugal, for an amount of EUR 100m
  • ZON Multimedia – Serviços de Telecomunicasções e Multimédia SGPS, a cable operator in Portugal, for an identical amount of EUR 100m

This way, the EIB not only contributes to a substantial upgrading of telecom services in the country, but introduces a healthy degree of competition in the Portuguese telecoms market. The Bank is also contributing to the implementation of the protocol signed on 27 May 2009 with the Portuguese Government and certain banks to support the implementation of Next Generation Networks.

Access to high-speed broadband services is an important factor contributing to the economic growth of any country. These projects will assist in providing Portugal with two state of the art alternative high-speed fixed broadband access networks and provide opportunities for employment and the development of innovative services, fostering a “knowledge economy”. The projects support the Renewed Lisbon Strategy to roll out high-speed internet to stimulate innovation, keep Europe at the forefront of the internet age and reach the goal of a 30% high speed broadband penetration of the population by 2010.

The EIB is the bank of the European Union (EU).  Its remit is to provide mainly long-term loans for viable public or private investment projects, aimed at furthering the EU’s integration, cohesion and development objectives, broken down into six priority policies: economic and social cohesion; protection of the natural and urban environment; research and innovation; support for SMEs; trans-European transport networks; and support for sustainable, competitive and secure energy.

The Bank is highly involved in financing investment aimed at boosting the competitiveness of the European economy. It supports projects fostering research, development and innovation, education and training, the spread of new technologies and the development of information and communications technologies, especially those promoting access to broadband telecoms services.