Hrvatski Telekom, the leader of Croatia’s digitalization, signed today 13 Partnership agreements for the implementation of projects for the construction of broadband internet network with representatives of the local and regional governments. Hrvatski Telekom commits with the agreement to build fiber-optic networks with a speed of at least 100Mbit/s over the next three years, for 135,000 new customers in cities and municipalities across Croatia.
The agreement is an integral part of a Public call for the construction of next-generation access networks worth a total of HRK 1.1 billion, as announced by the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds in July last year. Hrvatski Telekom won 13 of the 16 bids submitted at the Public call, committing to invest HRK 328 million of its funds to bring next-generation network to parts of Croatia where no such infrastructure currently exists. By signing the Agreement, one of the essential prerequisites for the submission of HT project proposals as applicants and cities, municipalities and counties as partners to the Limited call for the Construction of the NGA network was met. The total value of eligible costs for projects developed by Hrvatski Telekom, together with the public component, goes up to HRK 651 million.
“After finalizing the modernization of the entire mobile network across Croatia at the end of last year and preparing it for an upgrade to 5G technology, we have made an additional breakthrough in the fixed segment. As part of this project, we will bring the next-generation network to parts of the country where it does not exist, thus enabling all residents in those areas to use modern technology to create a better future. Digitalization of all parts of Croatia is a fundamental part of Hrvatski Telekom’s social purpose,” emphasized Boris Drilo, Management Board member and Chief Technical and Chief Information Officer of Hrvatski Telekom.
The economic effects of this investment cycle are significant. According to an analysis by the Zagreb Institute of Economics, an increase in internet speed in local government units in Croatia leads to the establishment of an average of 10 new companies and the creation of 811 new jobs, an increase in the productivity of companies by an additional HRK 364,000 per employee, and the generation of 420 million new export revenues.
For the local community, there are various other benefits, such as increased attractiveness of municipalities in attracting entrepreneurship, increasing the efficiency of public and private services, and increasing computer literacy.
“I am very pleased that today we have an opportunity to sign partnership agreements with Hrvatski Telekom and as partners contribute to further investment in next-generation broadband infrastructure. The availability of high-speed broadband access is a significant prerequisite for the further social and economic development of the country, a basic prerequisite for the transition to a digital society and digital economy. The implementation of such networks will reduce the digital divide and the introduction of broadband services in different segments of society contributes to improving their efficiency,” said Željko Turk, Mayor of Zaprešić.
Hrvatski Telekom will develop an optical network in the following cities and municipalities in Croatia. Upon completion of the project, 90% of all apartments, public and business customers from these areas will have access to speeds over 100Mbit/s symmetrically.
NGA network construction project encompasses: