Greece’s Minister of Communications Costis Hadzidakis announced yesterday that the government will go ahead with a EUR2.1 billion (USD3 billion) plan to build direct fibre access (FTTx) broadband networks covering two million homes in three regions of the country with maximum connection speeds of 100Mbps or more. The announcement followed approval for the project given by an interministerial committee on public and private sector projects. The partly state-funded programme will be implemented over seven years, with three tenders for private sector companies wishing to build and operate fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) / fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) networks expected to be launched in the second half of 2009, according to Hadzidakis. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database says that the Ministry of Transport & Communications (MTC) released a public consultation paper on its national five-year (3Q 2008-2013) broadband strategy for Greece in May. The paper focused on two main areas: implementing a plan for state-assisted FTTx development, focused on Athens and Thessaloniki (with smaller cities labelled less viable due to higher deployment costs); and developing a strategy to boost high speed broadband access in rural areas. The MTC is basing its national fibre strategy on feedback collected via the consultation.