ICT

In the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), the AMB is responsible for offering the necessary infrastructures to the whole area, so as to provide good Internet coverage. There are some areas of the metropolitan territory with reduced connectivity that have recently been detected, and the AMB is promoting actions to mitigate these shortcomings.

ITC in the metropolitan area

Within the metropolitan area there is an acceptable broadband Internet coverage. However, there are still some shade areas that have a very negative impact on the productive economy and which, therefore, should be urgently developed. ITC are a key tool for social and economic development of a territory. The capability of accessing a broadband Internet has become a basic and essential service for homes and businesses.

The AMB has conducted a study to determine the coverage of the various metropolitan areas and the possibilities that companies can develop it. It is a complex process, prior to the development of a specific strategy to improve connectivity.

In the metropolitan area, Internet service is mainly supported on infrastructures deployed by the historically incumbent operator company (Telefónica). Some alternative operators have deployed their own infrastructure to provide broadband services.

Until now, access to broadband Internet has been mostly offered on copper network. Nowadays, however, the former network is being renewed and replaced by a fibre optic-based technology networks that provide more access capacity. The main challenge is, therefore, to extend the coverage of fibre optic: the deployment of so-called FTTH (Fibre To The Home) projects.

Additionally, there are technology alternatives based on radio, such as optical fibre, which in general complement or extend the supply available in areas covered with traditional technology based on copper.

Currently, most of the fixed service operators have focused on improving their supply on traditional infrastructure and have deferred the deployment of optical fibre. This tendency has two exceptions: Telefónica and ONO. Telefónica, despite working with a slower pace than the one stated by original estimates, has started a plan to deploy FTTH across Spain and has already got a specific commercial offer. ONO sends 50 Mbps Internet to its customers by using wiring of cable TV network as a support.