FTTH Network Planned for Malta

  • FTTH
VALLETTA, MALTA- The Maltese Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications called for vendors' expressions of interest in the rollout of next-generation broadband infrastructure across Malta and the neighboring island of Gozo, which is under Maltese rule.

The government will concentrate initially on connecting schools, hospitals, businesses and providers of other public services, and will then build out an FTTH network into all residential areas. Malta and Gozo together have a population of less than half a million.

Malta was the first country in Europe to mandate 4 Mbps connections as the minimum threshold for access to the Internet, and the FTTH project continues the country's commitment to advanced technology. Minister Austin Gatt explains, “This network is essential for Malta to continue to be among the leading nations in the field of ICT, building upon its successes in creating new jobs in the ICT and service-based industries to Malta and enabling the government to continue to be the European leader in eGovernment services. Our plans for eHealth and eLearning solutions, which will bring state-of-the-art health care and learning solutions into our homes, are dependent on having a resilient, future-proof network, offering services in a competitive environment.”

After several years of consultations, feasibility studies and analyses, the government concluded that a universal fiber-to-the-home network was critical to Malta's development but that such a network was probably not possible without government participation. The call for expressions of interest states that the government is "prepared to share some of the risks and incentivize investment through direct intervention." The government is open to either subsidizing a private company to design, build and operate the network or participating in a joint venture with a private company. In either case, it envisions building a national open-access network where competitive retail service providers can offer a variety of services.

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