According to statistical information from the third quarter of 2020 from the Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (Anacom), the increase in remote working and distance learning , resulting from measures to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, has highlighted internet coverage in the country, with several areas of the country pointing out difficulties in accessing it.

According to statistical information on high-speed networks and services at a fixed location (access by fiber or cable), for the third quarter of last year, the Alentejo, with 71.2 percent, and the Algarve (71.6 percent), are the regions with coverage below the country’s average (87 percent).

Conversely, the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon and the Autonomous Region of the Azores had, over the same period, coverage of this type of network registering at more than 99 percent.

Next are the regions of the North (85.8 percent), the Centre (83.9 percent) and Madeira (82.7 percent).

High-speed networks are those that allow download speeds greater than 30 Mbps, allowing for faster internet speeds.

At the end of the quarter under review, “about 72 percent of households had subscriptions to high-speed services at a fixed location”, with the regions of Lisbon (89.2 percent), Azores (80.4 percent) and Madeira (80.2 percent) registering “above average installations”.

Next are the regions of the North and Algarve (both with 68.7 percent installations of these services), followed by the Centre (60.5 percent) and the Alentejo (51 percent).

Contacted by Lusa, an official from Anacom stated that the entity “has acted to remedy the existing difficulties” in accessing the internet.

“In view of the existence of several parishes which tend not to have mobile broadband coverage, Anacom has established coverage obligations to operators who acquired rights to use frequencies in 800 MHz, within the scope of the ‘multi-range auction regulation’ in 2011, either within the scope of the renewal of frequency usage rights (DUF) allocated in the 2,100 MHz band (Meo, NOS and Vodafone) “.

In total, “these coverage obligations covered 1,068 parishes tending to have no mobile broadband (480 parishes were identified in the context of the aforementioned regulation and 588 parishes within the scope of the renewal of frequency rights)”, the same source explained.