Wallonia’s Government and mobile phone operators have reached an agreement in principle on mobile infrastructure taxes, Economic Affairs Minister Jean-Claude Marcourt and mobile operators announced in a joint communique on Friday. Under the accord, the Wallonia Region has agreed not to impose any further taxes on telecommunications infrastructure and to establish a legislative, regulatory and administrative framework aimed at facilitating the installation of such infrastructure, according to the communique.
The parties also agreed that the operators would together pay the Government a total of 45 million euros to settle outstanding claims.
The companies have undertaken to invest a total of 60 million euros over the next three years, in addition to the amounts already projected in their investment plans for Wallonia over that period. The additional investments would be used to reinforce broadband coverage in zones where a marked deficit has been noted and in areas of high interest or with specific needs.
"We are creating, together with all the stakeholders of the sector, favourable conditions for rapid development of broadband connectivity for the benefit of the Region’s economy,” Minister Marcourt said. “These are new opportunities that will be offered to all businesses and the population”.