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High speed internet in remote villages

THE STATE has not fulfilled its plan to bring high speed internet to remote villages so far. While it planned to do so already in 2013, it has not even completed the tender, the Hospodárske Noviny economic daily reported in mid-February. The winner of the state order with the price tag of €213 million financed from EU funds will build fibre-optic networks and install broadband internet in 700 villages across Slovakia.

THE STATE has not fulfilled its plan to bring high speed internet to remote villages so far. While it planned to do so already in 2013, it has not even completed the tender, the Hospodárske Noviny economic daily reported in mid-February. The winner of the state order with the price tag of €213 million financed from EU funds will build fibre-optic networks and install broadband internet in 700 villages across Slovakia.

Based on the daily’s information, the verdict on the winner may be known within weeks, but the Public Procurement Office declined to confirm this information.

Experts estimate that several, especially large, telecom companies like Orange Slovensko, Slovak Telekom, Swan, GTS Slovakia or Slovanet, may get into the game.

The plan of the state is to bring high speed internet to remote villages and to patch up the so-called white places. In practice this means laying down about 4,000 kilometres of cables to make broadband internet available in about 700 villages across the country, where some 300,000 citizens live.

“Without the active participation of the state it is impossible to solve the problem of the so-called white places,” said Branislav Máčaj, the former head of the telecommunication regulatory authority, as cited by Hospodárske Noviny.

In 2012, the European Commission approved the Strategy 2020 requiring that Slovakia’s networks meet the minimal data transmission speed, i.e. 30Mbit/s, after six years.

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