The availability of an adequate and reliable broadband internet access service is today a crucial enabler for participation in the digital economy and society. The coronavirus pandemic is a clear reminder on how dependent we are on the internet and, by implication, on the underlying high-speed broadband infrastructure. It is essential that citizens and businesses are able to access an adequate broadband internet access service, regardless of where they live or work.
Whilst under the current EU regulatory framework broadband as a universal service refers only to a fixed connection permitting functional internet access at an established minimum data rate, the new regulatory framework, referred to as the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC), now includes access to an available adequate broadband internet access service, including the underlying connection, at a fixed location within the scope of the universal service.
This consultation document proposes the minimum functional characteristics of an adequate broadband internet access service for Malta. It also depicts the procedure to be used by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) in safeguarding the availability of an adequate broadband internet access service as a universal service.