Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Best Practice - High-speed broadband development (Bulgaria)

Article
The project aims to support high quality broadband connectivity in Bulgaria. Within the available budget, the scope of the project allows to build NGN connectivity to public institutions in a limited number of locations.
Share this

General information

Place

29 municipalities and 24 settlements

Source: ESMIS

Source: ESMIS

Basic information

Name

Development of high-speed broadband access in Bulgaria through building critical, secure, safe and reliable public ICT infrastructure

Place

29 municipalities and 24 settlements

Duration of the project

Start date: 24th of October 2012 (duration 24 months)

Number of households supplied

Households of the 29 municipal centres (113.964 inhabitants)

Technology

Fibre Optic, TCP/IP, MPLS

Performance

Dark Fibre up to 10 Gbps long distance, 1 Gbps user interface

Building up Organisation

The project is implemented as part of the Operational Programme “Regional Development” 2007-2013 Priority axis: „Regional and local accessibility”, Operation 2.2: „ICT network”. Under OPRD 20 Mio EUR are foreseen for the construction of broadband connections to urban peripheral areas and less urbanized territories and rural areas and for the development of critical, secure, dependable and trusted public-owned infrastructure. Sole beneficiary of the aid is the Executive Agency „Electronic communication networks and information systems” (EA ECNIS). For the implementation of the operation the scheme BG161PO001/2.2-01/2011 “Support for development of critical, secure, dependable and trusted public-owned infrastructure” with specific beneficiary EA ECNIS was designed.

The EA "ECNIS" will be responsible for the development of the infrastructure. EA “ECNIS” will be the owner of the developed infrastructure.

Service provider

  • After finalizing the development of infrastructure, the operation and the maintenance will be outsourced to an electronic communication service provider for a period of 15 years which shall not provide any retail services.

Total Costs

  • Total permissible costs (including VAT) is 39.123.029,84 BGN including organization and management 629.730.00 BGN, direct costs 32.077.749,87 BGN, building  23.940.170,45 BGN, equipment 7.887.579,42 BGN, outsourcing 250.000,00 BGN), VAT 6.415.549,97 BGN)

Financing

  • The EA "ECNIS" will be the specific beneficiary under the grant scheme OP "Regional Development", financed by the European Regional Development Fund and co-financed by the National Budget of the Republic of Bulgaria.

Average price of standard service

  • The Bulgarian National Regulatory Acency CRC, has the specific obligation to determine and apply cost-oriented prices after market analysis. In its decision #246/22.02.2011, CRC specifies that the wholesale (physical) infrastructure access market and the wholesale broadband access market in Bulgaria are subject of ex-ante regulation.

Background information

Unique characteristic

  • Fostering a favourable environment for sustainable development of Next Generation Network (NGN) infrastructure to locations remote to the backhaul networks.
  • Promoting social cohesion by providing high-speed access to online services to people living in remote areas, thereby overcoming the digital gap and isolation of this population from the social and cultural life in the country.
  • Developing trust in the internet by establishing standards for cybersecurity meeting the EU standards.
  • Facilitating and encouraging the use of high speed Internet by the local businesses so they can employ new business strategies and develop new services to their customers.

Successes

  • Internet penetration among population (before 45%, after 50 %)
  • Additional population to be connected (before 13.57%, after 21%)
  • Broadband coverage of the territory of the country (before 93.43%, after 98%)
  • Number of NGA connected municipality centres (before 3, after 29)
  • Number of NGA connected public institutions (before 0, after 88)
  • Number of NGA connected schools (before 0, after 46)
  • Number of NGA connected cultural centres (before 0, after 38)
  • Number of NGA connected hospitals (before 0, after 18)
  • Number of NGA connected households (before 0, after 10,000)
  • Number of businesses connected to NGA  (before 0, after 3,000)
  • Length of NGN lines (meters)  (before 67,700, after 927,873)

Review

Connecting the selected municipalities will contribute significantly to achieving the socio-economic development objectives of municipalities set out in their development plans and programs. Municipal authorities rely on Internet services to catalyse the development processes, while they cannot afford large-scale plans for investment in NGN networks due to the lack of funds. This is the reason why in the long term their development plans could not be implemented entirely and effectively in case this project is not implemented. It is expected that the availability of services based on NGA will have significant impact on the migration.

The use of e-Government services enables citizens to have direct access to information and facilitates communication with the relevant authorities. The increase in the number of people using online e-Government services is also one of the priorities of the European initiative "i2010 - European Information Society for Growth and Employment". Specific benefits are anticipated in all economy sectors, both in the manufacturing and services sectors as well as in healthcare and public administration.

Rationale

The project proposal is fully consistent with the objectives of Operation 2.2, "Information and Communication Network" of OPRD, namely "ensuring access to broadband infrastructure administration, business and population in economically unattractive areas. "The choice of target groups and areas entirely addresses the primary objective of Operation 2.2. The identified target groups of the project are the citizens, public institutions and businesses.

Target areas are white areas in terms of NGN, and moreover, according to the feasibility study, they are economically unattractive areas with no indication for development of Information Society by the means of market mechanisms. The study demonstrates that in these regions, no entry to the NGN networks can happen without intervention for lack of return of investment. That, in compliance with the guidelines of the European Commission and in implementation of the National Strategy for Development of Broadband Access in Bulgaria, can happen only by intervening with public funding.

For more information

 

Last updated on 02/05/2014