Approximately 50,000 households will receive high-speed internet under the "last mile" scheme, Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology Raul Siem (EKRE) said on Tuesday. An additional €15 million has been put into supporting the scheme.
The money will be split into two and €6 million will be used to support the construction of a network that would allow end-users to use high-speed connections.
The remaining €9 million will reimburse users for the cost of connecting to a fixed cable or wireless connection. First, the need for high-speed internet will be mapped.
"The mapping will take place in May and we can start the competitions in June. I am optimistic, I think we have planned the beginning of June for real work and real measures. If we have contracts, it will also go for clear work," Siem said.
Siem said it is currently estimated that 50,000 addresses will be added to this amount.
Elektrilevi won the previous tender to establish a high-speed internet connection for 40,000 households. This year, the communications company will have 14,000 connections to the house, the project will be completed in 2023.
Elektrilevi said the support of a fixed connection is necessary because, currently, only 20 percent of potential customers of the developed network have connected to high-speed Internet.
Elektrilevi charges a connection fee of €199 euros. Priit Treial, Member of the Management Board of Elektrilevi said: "As the price sensitivity of customers is higher in so many places, this may prove to be an obstacle to joining."
The next round of mapping needs to be based on people's needs, he said.
After Elektrilevi finishes their current work, approximately 120,000 households will remain in areas of low connectivity.
Editor: Helen Wright