Amendment to Telecommunications Act

Hands holding a tablet computer

At the request of Federal Minister Elisabeth Köstinger, the draft federal law amending the Telecommunications Act of 2003 was adopted by the Council of Ministers on 30 June 2020. The aim is to provide more planning security for companies and thus more investment power in the expansion of the telecommunications infrastructure.

The Corona restrictions also affect the providers of communications infrastructure and, among other things, have caused delays in the 5G expansion. In addition, the auction of 5G space frequencies scheduled for spring 2020 had to be postponed to summer 2020. All these factors result in planning uncertainties for the expansion of the communications infrastructure and its investors.

“The government has set itself the goal of implementing nationwide coverage with Gigabit-capable connections by 2030. This requires investments in the necessary infrastructure. It is therefore even more important to create incentives for companies participating in the future 5G rollout," says Telecommunications Minister Elisabeth Köstinger.

An amendment to the Telecommunications Act is to give the frequency-allocating authority the possibility of granting a temporary instalment payment option for the bidders' bids by administrative order, on application. This extended payment option is to give the companies concerned scope for planning and make it easier for them to fund investments in area supply.

The Ministry states: "More planning security means more investment power. This is particularly crucial in driving forward the expansion of 5G in order to strengthen Austria's pioneering role in this area".