STA, 21 August 2019 - Telecommunications operators have announced they will provide around 47,500 more households in rural areas with access to broadband in the coming three years. This leaves around 50,000 more households in so-called white areas, where funding of infrastructure will have to be provided by the state.
Ten operators - Elta, KTV Dravograd, KTV Ravne, RUNE-SI, Sanmix, Dostop Komunikacije, Studio Proteus, Telekom Slovenije, Telemach, and Milan Trnovec - responded to a Public Administration Ministry query about plans for broadband infrastructure investment sent out last autumn.
Allowing the state to determine where it will need to fund broadband infrastructure on its own due to a lack of market interest, the operators committed to financing the construction of access points for 46,000 households within three years.
Another operator, whose name will be disclosed after the contract is signed, responded to a second call that closed this August, announcing it would build 1,500 access points.
The state meanwhile plans to fund the infrastructure in some of the areas for which commercial operators have not expressed interest. The call for bids is expected to be published this autumn.
The ministry wrote that these households are located in sparsely populated and unfavourably positioned areas where building infrastructure is very demanding, which makes them problematic in terms of business model sustainability.
The state has around EUR 38 million in EU funds available for broadband infrastructure projects. The ministry expects that the call to be published in the autumn will allow it to cover roughly half of the 50,000 households located in white areas.