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Summary of broadband development in Croatia
There are specific objectives arising from the Croatian Broadband strategy. These include ensuring effective competition, availability of broadband access and encouraging demand for broadband services by citizens and business entities. In underserved areas, the Croatian strategy suggests ensuring broadband access by applying mobile communications technologies, such as UMTS, LTE and WiMAX.
National broadband strategy and policy
The Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure(Ministarstvo mora, prometa i infrastrukture) is the central state administrative body with expertise and responsibility for administrative tasks in the area of electronic communications including broadband policy and strategy. Through the Directorate for air traffic, electronic communications and postal services, it is in charge of preparing proposals for strategies, studies, guidelines, programmes and implementation plans. It establishes the general principles and objectives of the policy for the development of electronic communications networks and services, including broadband infrastructure.
The Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries HAKOM (Hrvatska regulatorna agencija za mrežne djelatnosti) ensures market competition, stable growth and environment for innovations in the electronic communications and postal services market.
Main aims for broadband development
The Croatian National Broadband (NGN) Plan consists of four parts:
- Strategy for Broadband Development in the Republic of Croatia for 2016–2020
- Project of unification and better management of surplus of fibre optic infrastructure of public companies majority-owned by the Republic of Croatia (OSI)
- National Framework Programme for the Development of Broadband Infrastructure in Areas Lacking from the Sufficient Commercial Interest for Investment (ONP)
- National programme for backhaul broadband infrastructure (NP-BBI)
The Strategy for Broadband Development in the Republic of Croatia for 2016–2020, adopted in July 2016, aims at achieving full broadband deployment by a technology neutral approach ensuring conditions for an open and equal legislative framework. The strategy also focuses on the encouragement of broadband supply and demand for electronic services as well as on ensuring effective competition in the telecommunications sector. Croatia’s overall broadband objectives are convergent with the DAE (100% coverage with 30 Mbps and 50% take-up rate for 100 Mbps until 2020). The estimated budget for the implementation of the Strategy measures is circa EUR 770 million.
Main measures for broadband development
Broadband mapping:HAKOM has developed and updates a central mapping tool, Interactive GIS portal, which provides information about the availability of broadband access, a consolidated plan of mobile communications operators as well as publications of intents for deployment and bandwidth speeds.
Project of unification and better management of surplus of fibre optic infrastructure of public companies majority-owned by the Republic of Croatia (OSI) was launched in January 2013. The main objective is the integration and better management of surplus fibre optic infrastructure of public companies, that represents a core part of the Croatian broadband network with a length of 8 000 kilometres.
National broadband financial instruments
The National Programme for the Development of Broadband Backhaul Infrastructure in Areas Lacking Sufficient Commercial Interest for Investments (ONP) is a national (umbrella) broadband state aid scheme. Besides general state aid rules, ONP also brings guidelines for local municipalities for implementation of individual projects within ONP. The total estimated (maximum) funding at the national level for the framework programme amounts to EUR 257.9 million, of which EUR 123.1 million is to be financed from ERDF and the remaining EUR 134.8 million to be covered by the EIB loan. Both sources of funding (ERDF and EIB loan) represent grants for public authorities at local and regional level (cities, municipalities and counties). It is expected that the contribution of private funds in co-financing NGA broadband networks during the implementation of the Programme will amount to EUR 120 million. The average annual budget of the Programme in 2016 - 2023 amounts to EUR 31.5 million. The Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM) has been determined as a holder of the ONP.
The national programme for broadband backhaul infrastructure (NP-BBI) covers state aid measures for backhaul portion of NGN network in white areas and aims at developing the national NGN broadband backhaul, as a network segment interconnecting NGA networks and national core networks. The Programme was endorsed by the European Commission and will be carried out through a public investment model. The passive fibre infrastructure will be designed and built and retained in permanent public ownership. After the infrastructure is built, it will be offered to operators on the market at equal terms. Based on the results of public consultations, the Programme aims to cover at least 540 settlements, which are initially prioritised and set as targeted settlements (at least 25% of population), located in suburban and rural areas of Croatia. The overall estimated (maximum) budget of the measure is EUR 101.4 million, of which EUR 86.2 million (85%) will be funded by ERDF and the remaining EUR 15.2 million (15%) by national funds. The annual budget of the scheme amounts to EUR 14.5 million for the period 2017-2023.
Data on broadband development and technologies in Croatia
For the latest data on broadband coverage, subscriptions and penetrations, coverage of different broadband technologies and costs check the scoreboard reports and the country reports of the Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI).