ZAGREB, 10 February (Hina) – The European Commission on Wednesday approved an investment of more than €86 million from the European Regional Development Fund to expand the next generation broadband infrastructure in Croatia.
The investment will provide rural and suburban settlements with access to high-speed internet services.
“All Europeans need to have stable and high-speed access to internet services. This has proved even more important in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, when many digital activities switched to a full ‘online’ format. By contributing to the eradication of the digital divide between rural and urban populations, this project will open up new possibilities and boost Croatia’s socioeconomic development,” said Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira.
The Commission said that high-speed internet access would boost business growth expand business potential and improve productivity and competitiveness. That is especially important for craft businesses in rural areas and micro-enterprises, which will access new markets and benefit from e-services.
Also, the government will be able to expand e-services and digital education systems, including distance learning, the Commission said.
According to the Croatian government’s strategy for the development of broadband access, the development of broadband internet access services at speeds higher than 30 Mbit/s is one of preconditions for the development of a modern economy.
The strategy also underlines the need to ensure the availability of broadband access at speeds above 100 Mbit/s, so that the development of broadband access infrastructure would follow the development of services and applications which require broadband access speeds higher than 100 Mbit/s, which includes symmetrical internet connection.