Thursday, March 31, 2011

Estonia - European funds are available to bring broadband at 100 Mbps to rural areas

[estonian public broadcasting] Enterprise Estonia has opened a round of European Regional Development Fund backed funding worth over 12.7 million euros for bringing broadband Internet to all points in the country.

The most costly part of the investment into establishing high-speed internet connections of 100 megabits per second in 100 percent of homes - as stated in the Estonian information society development plan - is building a network based on high-speed optic cables.

Communiations operators have little opportunity and incentive to set up networks in areas with a lower population density. After the basic network is completed, free competition will be allowed to take over.

"We support the establishing of around 1,200 kilometers of optic cable network," said Minster for Regional Affairs Siim-Valmar Kiisler. "This makes it possible to telework from smaller rural areas, which results in more freedom to choose a place to live and work. A high-speed internet connection will also contribute significantly to development of local enterprise and increase the general quality of life."

The maximum amount of assistance per project can be up to 639,116 euros. Applications are to be subnitted to Enterprise Estonia by May 30.

Universal Broadband Network Measure Declared Open

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