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The National Digital Program of the Government of Israel

Strategic Objective 3 – Support Infrastructure Development

A necessary condition for a flourishing digital society is the development of robust infrastructures, both physical communication infrastructures and supporting process infrastructures ("soft infrastructures").

A necessary condition for a flourishing digital society is the development of robust infrastructures, both physical communication infrastructures and supporting process infrastructures (“soft infrastructures”). As noted, regarding physical infrastructures there is room for improving the current level of communication infrastructures in Israel. Israel is ranked only 24th among the 34 OECD member states in broadband penetration, and only 25th in the world in terms of average transmission rate[54]. Therefore, in order to optimally exploit the advantages of ICT, the State of Israel must support the development of cable and mobile communication infrastructures that will underpin technological developments and modern digital applications.

Alongside the physical component, “soft” infrastructures must be developed to create favorable conditions for extensive growth of digital activity in the Israeli economy and the government. Adapting regulation, primarily the process of removing regulatory barriers, is a key condition in driving business entrepreneurship and developing an advanced technological and digital environment. Also, a safe and reliable internet arena where the rights, privacy and personal information of all users are maintained will encourage individuals and businesses to expand their online activity and is therefore vital for realizing the potential offered by ICT. Furthermore, freedom of expression and free access to information, which are vitally important for the social resilience of the State of Israel and its democratic nature, must be ensured.

The National Initiative also addresses the infrastructures necessary for advancing the digital revolution, focusing on two key areas:

  •  Developing physical infrastructures
  •  Promoting an enabling digital activity ecosystem

Advance 4 and 4.5 Generation Mobile
(led by the Communications Ministry)

Mobile communication operators are already in the midst of laying advanced technological infrastructures that enable increased mobile internet data transmission speed, improved service quality, and solutions to large capacity needs.  The Communications Ministry is examining reductions in frequency fees and is taking steps, among other things, to clear the frequencies in the “first giga” and to formulate policy regarding E-Band microwave frequencies. 

Develop Communication Infrastructures

Advanced physical communication infrastructures are the backbone of the “digital revolution”. They enable transmission and storage of information so that it is accessible to everyone, and supports the development of innovative communication methods between people.

Furthermore, extensive access to broadband infrastructures enables businesses to fully utilize various ICT applications, facilitates the development of businesses throughout the country and improves their productivity and ability to compete. A reliable, quality and widely dispersed infrastructure also supports expanded use of the Internet and additional ICT tools by citizens, expanding the potential for adopting innovative business and government services and promoting their development.

Physical communication infrastructures in Israel – mobile and mobile broadband - are widely deployed throughout the country and provide access to rapid Internet communication virtually everywhere. However, it is important to encourage deployment of optical fiber infrastructures, considered to be the next generation of broadband that enable ultra-fast Internet communication speeds[55].

Under its definition as a “cross-government field” that is headed by the Ministry of Communication, the Ministry is taking action to create a regulatory framework that will support and incentivize communication companies to increase the scope of investments in fixed-line and mobile communication infrastructures. The aim is to ensure that the companies are at the forefront of technology and can provide reliable broad communication service coverage with high transmission speeds. Furthermore, the Communications Ministry heads an effort to formulate a comprehensive policy that will enable quick and extensive adoption of the next generation of mobile communication technologies (“cellular”). This will ensure that communication infrastructures in Israel meet current and future user demands, and help create optimal conditions to support economic, social and personal growth. 

Encourage Deployment of Ultra-Fast Broadband Infrastructures in Israel
(headed by the Communications Ministry)

The State of Israel, headed by the Communications Ministry, is advancing the deployment of ultra-fast broadband infrastructures, among other things, by offering incentives for deploying networks, such as the FTTH-based optical fiber network, which enable tremendous symmetrical Internet speed of up to 1 Gbps – more than 90 times the average Internet speed in Israel.