Although Lithuania has some of the lowest rural population densities in the EU, it managed to provide some of the highest fibre coverages for these areas through the PRIP project. PRIP brings Next Generation connectivity to rural activity centres such as farmer and rural tourism homesteads, agricultural and food processing companies, advisory offices, State forests and rural communities. The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (90% of the 5.9 million budget) enabled creating access to broadband infrastructure, including broadband access lines, network nodes and ground structures.

Worker digging trench for fibre optic cables

In this video interview, Mr. Gytis Liaugminas, Director of Plačiajuostis internetas, explains that the demand for high-speed broadband connectivity is so high in Lithuania’s rural areas that it was one of the challenges of the project, with over 1500 applications made for connections. In order to meet this demand, a second phase and further expansion of the network, PRIP-2, was already underway during the roll-out of this project.

The project succeeded in connecting 443 rural activity centres and agricultural objects via 486 km of fibre optic cable. The PRIP network is an extension of Lithuania’s previous two national broadband networks, RAIN and RAIN-2, and, at the time of interview, already hosted 14 operators and ran at 85% capacity.

Good cooperation with national and local institutions, municipalities and rural communities was key to the project’s success.

PRIP was a finalist in the 2016 European Broadband Awards and is featured in the European Commission’s broadband good practices directory.

For more information, visit the project’s website, and consult the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) country information for Lithuania.

 

This video is part of a series of interviews on broadband roll-out in Europe, produced for the European Network of Broadband Competence Offices (BCO Network).

 

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Video:

Project
PRIP: Development of broadband network infrastructure in rural areas
Project coordinator
Vytautas Tvaronavičius, PE "Plačiajuostis internetas"
Project Acronym
PRIP
Project website