The EU Commission announced on 15 November a €2.6 billion of public support for the Irish National Broadband Plan.

The Commission assessed the plan under state aid rules and its own 2013 broadband guidelines, and found that the plan will eventually provide a network capable of supporting download speeds of at least 150 megabits per second, upload speeds of 30 Mbps, and will aid to “stimulate the development of a modern digital economy” in rural Ireland.

“The National Broadband Plan in Ireland is expected to address the significant digital divide between urban and rural areas in Ireland, enabling Irish consumers and businesses to benefit from the full potential of digital growth. This will help households and businesses in areas of Ireland where private investment is insufficient”, said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy.

The Commission approved the scheme after concluding that its positive effects on competition in the Irish broadband market outweigh potential negative effects brought about by the public intervention.