The European Commission (EC) has approved a EUR101.4 million (USD114 million) scheme by the government of Croatia to roll out shared broadband infrastructure in underserved rural areas of the country. The EC decided that the project, which aims to provide NGN backhaul connectivity in regions which are uneconomical for private operators, is in line with EU state aid rules. The new infrastructure will be financed mainly through the European Regional Development Fund and partly by national funds, and the network will remain in public ownership via state transmission company OiV. The scheme, which is set to be completed by end-2023, aims to increase the coverage of high speed broadband and provide symmetrical speeds of 100Mbps.
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: ‘Croatia’s broadband scheme will bring faster internet to consumers and businesses that currently do not have it. It will help Croatia to put in place the necessary infrastructure for an information society and contribute to creating a Digital Single Market within the EU.’
In January 2016 the EC approved a government plan to roll out next generation access (NGA) infrastructure in underserved areas of Croatia. The latest scheme will provide backhaul connectivity for the access networks.