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"Rural Broadband" / An important project for the Region, awarded by the European Commission [1/11/2018]

"Rural Broadband" is an important project with a total public expenditure budget of 161,061,091.94 euros (total budget 199,715,754.01 including VAT) and has been funded by the European Union and Greece under the Operational Programs: OP Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (EPANEK), Rural Development OP, Macedonia-Thrace OP and Digital Convergence OP and aimed to reduce the "broadband gap" between the most disadvantaged areas of Greece (white rural areas) and the rest of the country . It is divided into 2 phases with the first concerning the implementation (construction) and the second the operation of the infrastructure.

The implementation of the project was carried out in a partnership between the public and private sector (PPP) in the form of BOT (Build, Operate, Transfer) for the provision of wholesale broadband services to all telecommunications providers with the utilization of the infrastructure (network) that will be developed.

Thanks to the project, 5,077 settlements and respectively 525,287 inhabitants gain access to a broadband network. It is obvious that the benefits for these remote populations are great as the "digital exclusion" of the "White Areas" is lifted and access to modern electronic services and the conditions for economic and social development are offered.

The creation / upgrading of broadband infrastructure will improve the quality of life of the residents of these areas by ensuring electronic access to important services, such as health, education and commercial applications. The above access infrastructures are also considered necessary for the upgrade and improvement of the business activities of the areas, the maintenance but also the creation of new jobs.

The project was awarded on 21/11/17, in the framework of the European Broadband Awards 2017 "European Broadband Awards 2017" organized by the European Commission (DG CNECT) as the best project in Europe in the category "Promoting cohesion policy in rural and remote areas" ».

The project competed with two other projects from Spain and Germany as finalists, while a total of 49 projects from 20 countries participated in the competition.

It was also awarded in February 2018 by the World Organization of Informatics & Communications WITSA at the WITSA Global ICT Excellence Award 2018 in the category "Digital Opportunity Award".