The second phase of Morocco’s National Broadband Plan, aimed at improving internet speed, is set to launch in 2024. This assurance was given by Ghita Mezzour, the Minister Delegate in Charge of Digital Transition and Administrative Reform, on November 13, 2023, at the Chamber of Representatives. The funding for this phase will come from the Telecommunications Universal Service Fund (FSUT), which is one of the foundations of the telecommunications sector reform in Morocco.
The FSUT was initiated under Law 24-96, promulgated by Dahir No. 1-97-162 on August 7, 1997, relating to post and telecommunications. Its purpose is to contribute to the reduction of the social divide in the field of telecommunications. Since its creation in 2005 until the end of 2013, the FSUT has been able to mobilize over 2.25 billion dirhams.
Several programs have been supported by the Universal Service Management Committee (CGSUT) and funded by the FSUT. These programs include the Generalized Telecommunications Access Program (PACTE), the Generalization of Information and Communication Technologies in Education (GENIE), the Nafida program which aims to facilitate access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the education system and provide multimedia content, the Injaz program, which aims to provide students in public higher education with access to ICT tools for their education, the creation of Community Access Centers (CAC) to facilitate access to ICT for young people, particularly in youth centers under the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the E-sup program, which aims to promote the use of ICT in higher education by equipping universities with appropriate solutions, and the Net-U program, which aims to promote and expand access to ICT, especially Internet access, in educational institutions and university campuses.
In 2022, the Moroccan government mobilized over seven billion dirhams to strengthen network and telecommunications infrastructure as part of the second phase of the National Broadband Plan. According to Ghita Mezzour, the completion rate of the first phase of the PNHD I (2018-2023) reached 97%, covering nearly 10,420 territorial zones with high-speed internet out of the initial target of 10,740 zones.
Morocco is the first African country to deploy Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) technology. The government offers a subsidy of 50% of the satellite connection service fees, limited to 4,000 beneficiaries per year (capped at 2,500 dirhams per VSAT subscription). It should be noted that the VSAT subscription in Morocco costs 250 dirhams per month. Subscribing to a VSAT subscription requires the installation of specific equipment different from the traditional internet box. The subscription for individuals starts at 251 dirhams per month.