Last month, the physical and financial scope of the project was finally received in Geographical Zone 2 (Central Greece), contractually activating the start of the availability of fast internet and broadband services to the residents of the settlements of these areas. The project was received a year ago in the other two Geographical Zones (1 – Northern Greece and 3 – Southern Greece).
The project, which aims to provide broadband services in rural, island, disadvantaged and inaccessible areas, where broadband was not previously available, the so-called “white areas”, is a public-private partnership (PPP) with a total budget for all Geographical Zones of more than €160 million. For its implementation, I.S. S.A. cooperates with three companies of special purpose, two of which are owned by OTE and the third by INTRAKAT.
With the completion of the project, more than 3,680 agglomerations and about 493 thousand of our fellow citizens will have access to fast internet and broadband services such as: telemedicine, teleworking, distance learning, value added services (e.g. information provision, entertainment activities and commercial transactions), IP TV, Video and Music on demand, with speeds of up to 50 Mbps download/30 Mbps upload.
The easy and fast access to digital services is expected to contribute significantly to boosting employment by stimulating local entrepreneurship, increasing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises based in “white” areas, strengthening and upgrading tourism and retaining the population in remote areas of our country. At the same time, the digital divide between these regions and the rest of the country will be reduced and at the same time Greece will come closer to the EU average in terms of broadband and digital maturity indicators.
It is worth noting that the Information Society S.A. has already been awarded for the Rural Broadband project twice, at European and Global level. In the framework of the “European Broadband Awards 2017”, organised by the European Commission (DG CONNECT), it won the category “Promoting Cohesion Policy in rural and remote areas”. Then, in 2018, it was awarded the “WITSA Global ICT Excellence Award 2018” and specifically in the “Digital Opportunity Award” category.