This afternoon, the president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, led the signing of a national commitment to deploy fibre-optic cable. Under the agreement, the government and Catalonia’s four provincial councils “will roll out another 4160 km of network over the next three years”. The president said 4500 km of fibre-optic cable owned by the Government of Catalonia has already been deployed, and that the existing network reaches 254 municipalities and 29 of Catalonia’s 42 county capitals.
Representatives of the Catalan government and the four provincial councils took part in the ceremony to sign the agreement, which covers the roll-out and coordinated management of fibre-optic cable. Speaking at the event, the head of the executive said the government was committed to ensuring the connectivity of all Catalonia’s municipalities as “a social and economic right in the 21st century and an element that binds Catalonia together”. “Being connected is an essential condition for equality of opportunity,” Torra said.
The president stressed that the strategy set out in the agreement is a joint one that “combines the strength and capabilities of Catalonia’s institutions”. According to Torra, the goal is to “connect all county capitals to the public fibre-optic network by 2020, with a broadband connection to all municipalities with a population over 50 by 2023”.
In line with this objective, the signatories agree to bolster and accelerate the roll-out of fibre-optic cable in order to reach not only county capitals but all of Catalonia’s municipalities over the next few years. Within this framework, an annual action plan will be defined to prioritise actions to be taken and specify resources, measures and implementation deadlines. The plan will take into account the investments the Catalan government has already made and the fibre-optic cable rolled out for its existing network. To accelerate the roll-out in the various territories, the government will promote the signing of the necessary agreements with Catalonia’s provincial councils. These agreements will allow for the laying of fibre-optic cable in conduits installed by the four councils.
“Building the Digital Republic”
The Catalan Minister for Digital Policy and Public Administration, Jordi Puigneró, also spoke at the ceremony. He said the Catalan government was committed to “networking the country as a way to create a great state structure on which to build connected cities and digitally empowered citizens”. “We’re determined to build a 21st-century nation: the Digital Republic,” he said.
In addition to President Torra and Minister Puigneró, other speakers at the ceremony were Marc Castells, president of the Barcelona Provincial Council; Miquel Noguer, president of the Girona Provincial Council; Rosa Maria Perelló, president of the Lleida Provincial Council; and Josep Masdeu, second vice president of the Tarragona Provincial Council.