Including rural Lithuania in the broadband world

The RAIN project will vastly improve access to broadband in rural areas, bringing coverage to 98% of the area, in doing so eliminating the digital divide, increasing social cohesion and contributing to economic growth with a more competitive rural sector.

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Some 4 400 km of broadband cables will be laid, with network infrastructure and connection points installed. As a result, 660 000 citizens, 2 000 businesses and 9 000 public institutions will be ready to benefit from the powerful broadband tool.

Embracing the information society

The project beneficiary, the Ministry of Transport and Communication, signed a partnership agreement in 2009 with the non-profit public company Plačiajuostis internetas. The agreement covers cooperation during the preparation and implementation phase of the project and the subsequent management of the new infrastructure by Plačiajuostis internetas.

The issue at hand is that there are still wide differences in the availability of advanced information infrastructure across Lithuania. Rural areas are not an attractive option for commercial investments in broadband electronic communications infrastructure due to the relatively low number of potential subscribers, scattered villages, expensive construction work, and lack of broadband network infrastructure.

The project will therefore radically improve access to broadband services in rural areas, bringing benefits to individuals, businesses and a wide range of public institutions and services. The project will extend the broadband coverage to 98% of rural areas, provide a competitive environment for the delivery of broadband services, and connect major centres of knowledge in rural areas, notably schools, libraries and public internet centres, to broadband networks.

Healthy competition

Key features of the project include: open access: the developed infrastructure will be available to all service providers; technological neutrality – the selected technology will enable all potential network users to have free access to the resources of the network under development; and a competitive environment, with end-users free to choose their service provider and services. The technical solutions will also be long-term solutions, meeting the internet needs for at least 10 years. Furthermore, a total of 340 jobs will be directly created, 140 of which are long term (20 years).

Draft date