OiV company awarded HRK 786m broadband infrastructure project

The OiV provider of national strategic communications infrastructure was on Thursday awarded a contract in the Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry for a HRK 786 million project of an aggregate broadband infrastructure and a network for targeted public users.

Of HRK 786 million, as much as 770 million has been ensured from an EU grant.

During the ceremony, OiV Director Mate Botica received the agreement from Minister Natasa Tramisak and the head of the SAFU Central Finance and Contracting Agency Tomislav Petric who underscored the importance of the project for Croatia's economic development that will deliver broadband Internet access to small communities and rural areas which commercial operators do not consider as feasible due to sparse  population.

Minister Tramisak said that this is last agreement in a series of a total of 15 large strategic projects co-financed from EU funds for this operational period which are valued at more than HRK 16 billion.

She added that the OiV project will be realised by 2023, adding that in the past few months she has signed 21 agreements for the development of a broadband network to provide fast Internet speeds with a total value of HRK 2.1 billion.

The preconditions to accelerate digitisation and IT is access to fast Internet and we are opening investment opportunities for rural areas. That is one way of contributing to demographic revival, she said adding that there will be similar projects available for the 2021 - 2027 operational period.

Botica said that 85% of the project's value is a grant from the EU while the state ensures 15% and we expect the government's decision soon, said Botica, adding the project will provide faster Internet to 540 communities with more than a thousand residents who do not have fast Internet and that by 2023 all these communities will be connected.

The project envisages the construction of a next generation aggregate broadband optical infrastructure and comprehends building 5,000 kilometres of optical fibres reaching out to outer suburbs and rural areas.

The targeted groups to be connected include public institutions such as national, regional and local government offices, education, health, cultural, tourism facilities and judicial institutions as well as commercial operators.