On Tuesday, Greece’s Minister of Electronic Governance, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, announced a tender process to achieve 750,000 ultra-fast broadband connections
After lagging behind its European neighbours in terms of broadband quality for a number of years now, this week the Greek government has announced a new plan to improve ultra-fast broadband access around the country.
The tender process, announced on Tuesday by Minister of Electronic Governance, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, will allow companies to submit proposals to take part in the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFBB) infrastructure development project.
With a total budget of €700 million, of which €300 million will come from public funding, this project is one of the largest Public & Private Partnerships (PPP) initiatives in Europe.
Of the public funding, around €265 million will come directly from the European Regional Development Fund and the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship, Innovation 2014-2020, with the remaining €35 million coming from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020.
The project will aim to make around 750,000 ultra-fast broadband connections, ultimately providing high quality broadband services to around 2.4 million citizens. The concession will span 26 years, the first three of which will be spent deploying the infrastructure, while the remaining period will be spent operating the broadband service.
The infrastructure deployed will deliver speeds of at least 100 Mbps and will be upgradable to 1 Gbps, in line with the EU’s ‘Gigabit Society’ targets.
Unsurprisingly, the UFBB project is likely to draw much attention from local operators, who now have roughly three months to submit their bids to the regulator. Based on the companies that participated in the competitive dialogue prior to the tender opening, companies that could be interested in bidding for the contract include Wind Hellas, Vodafone, OTE, Public Power Corp, Avax, Mytilineos, Intracom, and Terna Energy.
Earlier this week, the European Commission European Innovation Scoreboard for 2021 was released, showing that the country’s overall innovation performance had improved by 25% compared to the previous year. The country is now listed as a ‘moderate innovator’, with improved broadband penetration listed as one of the key factors in helping Greece to achieve this milestone.
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