The digital infrastructure sector aims to attract up to 32.5 billion European funds

Digital infrastructure companies are replacing traditional ones, taking advantage of the EU's drive to digitize the continent.

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Digital infrastructure companies aspire to attract a total of 32,500 million euros from European funds, as calculated in the Conference Investment opportunities in digital infrastructures organized this Thursday by the DigitalES association.

Jose Antonio Vázquez, from the operator Onivia, recalled that, of the 72,000 million investment going to Spain from Brussels to face the covid crisis, “12% will be dedicated to resilient infrastructures, on 16 % to the so-called rural and urban agenda and another 17% to the modernization of the industrial fabric and SMEs “, together 45% of all funds, 32,500 million euros available to this business sector.

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Roberto Sánchez, Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructures, has also stressed the “additional opportunity provided by European recovery funds. It was said that at least 20% of the funds should be dedicated to digitization and here we want to get there up to 33% “, Sánchez recalled in reference to the Government’s calculations presented to the European Commission.

Among the areas covered by these policies, such as submarine cables (which appear in the regulations for the first time), the Secretary of State has emphasized that of data centers, “convinced” that “they are the heart of the new data economy and they are going to multiply”. Santiago Hernández, VP Sales at Data4, estimates that this branch of the technology business presents “a 22% profitability” that would inevitably attract investors.

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Robert Assink, director general de Interxion, considera posible “create 2,000 jobs in the data centers directly “in the next few years.” If together we unite and turn Spain into a real digital hub, and we are on the right track to do so, investing in data centers it can be multiplied by five and the effect of the local GDP would be multiplied by 12 “, Assink pointed out.

Transportation lags behind

“The transport infrastructure had its boom, but it is transferring to the world of telecommunications infrastructure “, says Ignacio San Miguel, head of Structured Finance EMEA at Banco Sabadell, the entity that sponsored this conference. On the relevance of networks in today’s societies, something more than enough demonstrated during the pandemic, Albert Cuatrecasas, General Director of Cellnex, has stated: “The digital structure is the first that truly supports the territory.”

For Sánchez, we are facing a “new investment cycle”, included in the Spain Digital Agenda 2025. This week, the Government has announced that it has approved to dedicate 4.32 billion in the deployment of high-speed broadband and 5G mobile technology between 2021 and 2025, with an allocation of 2.32 billion to the first of these plans and another of 2,000 million to the second of the strategies. In addition, between 2021 and 2021, the Executive has raised, also this week, an investment in Artificial Intelligence of 600 million.

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