The Sarantaporo.gr project began when a small group of young people, from the remote Thessaly mountains in central Greece, returned home to realise that their village still had no internet access. Telecom companies had no interest in investing to bring the necessary infrastructure there, so the group set out to create a wireless community network for almost 3,500 people in 12 isolated mountain villages. To stimulate demand and uptake, the project’s volunteers provide training and support. The €156,000 project was 59% EU-funded and won a European Broadband Award in 2019.

Title over view of rural Greek village and satellite dishes on rooftops: Remote Greek mountain community’s award-winning broadband project connects 12 remote villages using EU funds

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Begun in 2010, the network now provides 30 Mbps symmetrical connectivity, with a 1 Gbps backhaul transferred wirelessly over the mountain from the University of Thessaly.

Interviewed at the 2019 European Broadband Awards presentation ceremony, Vasileios Chrysos, Marketing Director of Sarantaporo.gr, underscores that “the European Broadband Award is really significant for our community network because it is a recognition that small organisations like ours really contribute in bridging the digital divide not only in our area, but also throughout Europe”.

Run by volunteers and local champions, the project’s larger goals are to improve economic opportunities and quality of life for the area’s population, encouraging both the younger and older generations to stay.

Find out more in the project’s factsheet in the European Commission database of good practices in broadband projects. Explore the 2019 European Broadband Awards and other award-winning projects in the brochure Broadband Good Practices from the 2019 European Broadband Awards.

This video is part of the European Broadband Competence Offices (BCO) Network’s programme promoting awareness of good practices in broadband projects as well as EU broadband funding and policy. The programme includes a series of videosarticles and publications accessible through the BCO Network portal.

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Project
Sarantaporo.gr Wireless Community Network
Project coordinator
Sarantaporo.gr NPO
Project Acronym
Sarantaporo.gr