An investment of EUR200 million (USD225 million) is planned to bring fibre-optic connectivity to rural areas of Slovenia, while a further EUR50 million will be spent under the same project in neighbouring Croatia. The EC-backed RUNE (Rural Network) scheme aims to deploy fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas of the two countries to enable residents to access services at speeds of up to 1Gbps. The network rollout is expected to be completed within three years, STA reports. The RUNE project is being part-financed by the EC’s Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF), a private equity fund set up to help fund European digital inclusion projects.
Meanwhile, the Croatian Regulatory Agency for Network Operations (Hrvatska Regulatorna Agencija za Mrezne Djelatnosti, HAKOM) has said that 72 firms have applied to take part in rural rollout projects covering a total of 443 municipalities. The regulator is currently evaluating the bids.