The objective of the project is the public administration, as well as all the schools, universities, museums, libraries, records etc to have broadband access, the strengthening of broadband access with emphasis on the less privileged areas and the introduction of information networks between health points with broadband access.
|Description of the project
The above projects belong to the 2nd action category “Development/ implementation of local access broadband networks” of Measure 4.2 and are related to the basic principle of the «eEurope 2005, An information society for all» initiative which anticipates the encouragement of secure services, applications and content based on widely available broadband infrastructures.
More specific objectives are the public administration, as well as all the schools, universities, museums, libraries, records etc to have broadband access, the strengthening of broadband access with emphasis on the less privileged areas and the introduction of information networks between health points with broadband access.
The physical scope of the above projects is the implementation of metropolitan optical networks for the development of supplementary broadband infrastructure in the local authorities of the country and, more specifically, the interconnection of the buildings of public interest in bodies of education, health- welfare, culture, public administration, people with special needs etc with the use of MAN technologies.
The projects to be implemented include mainly troughs, channels, optical fibers, interconnection points, as well as the installation of passive equipment (e.g. fibers, optical patch-panels etc) and minimum active network equipment [e.g. switching elements with optical outputs (OADM)], which is required for the provision of basic access to public buildings.
The basic target is the creation of competition conditions in the area of services, both of access as well as of content, to the benefit of the consumer –user based on the availability of open optical fiber infrastructures in a cost-oriented way. Towards this direction, moreover, the release of part of the infrastructures for private exploitation through long-term leasing per measure and pair of fibers is encouraged; this will generate cost-oriented revenues with the aim of covering the operation and maintenance expenses.
The projects apply to Local Government Organisations of the 1st degree, with a population of over 10 thousand people, in which there are more than 20 points of public interest services in a spread less than 20 km from the town centre. The ultimate beneficiary, the Local Government Organisation of the 1st degree, is the owner of the created network infrastructures.
In order to serve the basic objective for the development of broadband infrastructures in towns and non-urban or remote areas, as well as in less favourable areas, the Local Government Organisations of the 1st degree belonging to the region of Attica and the prefecture of Thessaloniki are excluded.
The projects will be implemented by companies or joint ventures as potential contractors, due to the specialized scope, with experience in projects with a similar physical scope. Telecommunication service providers are not allowed to participate in any way in these companies or joint ventures.
Due to the specialized scope of the project of developing metropolitan networks (MAN), technical support (Technical Support Consultant) is required for the Local Government Organisations of the 1st degree per region, apart from the region of Attica, provided by consultants with specialized knowledge and experience in the fields of developing broadband infrastructures and services.
The scope of the technical support includes the compilation of an analytical study on the application and transmission channel of the optical fibers, the adjustment of the tender volumes on the basis of the findings of the analytical study, the monitoring, supervision and certification of the correct application of the technical projects in accordance with the tender volume and the preparation and submission for approval of a business utilisation/ exploitation model of the installed infrastructures to the Special Management Service of the Information Society. The model concerns the adoption, use and provision of broadband services for all the financed municipalities per region with specialization per municipality.
The budget of the 1st phase of the project is 54,000,000€ (51,000,000€ for the networks of the Local Government Organisations of the 1st degree and 3,000,000 € for the technical support of the Local Government Organisations of the 1st degree), while a new invitation is planned (2nd phase MAN) of a budget of approximately 13,000,000€.
Progress of the project
The Technical Support Consultants for the municipalities of each one of the 12 regions have been selected and set (specialized university bodies), the model tender volume has been concluded by the Managing Authority and it is now in the consultation phase with the market and, moreover, 71 proposals for MAN have been submitted in which the main municipalities of the country are included with the exception of Attica and the prefecture of Thessaloniki.
Finally, the first evaluation phase of the Technical Reports of the Project has been concluded with on-site visits to all the municipalities that have submitted proposals.
|Results of the project
The above projects are expected to improve, in the short term, the quality of life of the citizens in the relevant areas through securing a satisfactory level of health, education and commercial application services in an electronic way.
This is possible, due to the quality of the provided services of broadband connections, such as the quick access to the Internet, distant learning, e-public administration, the provision of health services, entertainment, tele-conference, e-commerce and others.
The achievement of the middle-term objective for gradual provision of broadband access to all public services is expected to contribute to the establishment of e-government and the provision of effective interface services for the citizen.
There are, also, positive results as regards the upgrading and improvement of the business activities of the areas, as well as the preservation and creation of new jobs. The business schemes created for the administration, development, exploitation and utilisation of infrastructures as well as the possibility of releasing part of the infrastructures for private exploitation are expected to generate cost-oriented revenues in order to cover the operation and maintenance expenses aiming at securing their viability.
Furthermore, in the long term, with the implementation of such projects, the liberalization of the market is facilitated and this is expected to strengthen the possibility of offering broadband services and feed the demand through the creation of competition conditions in the provision of access and content services based on the availability of open optical fiber infrastructures. This competitions guarantees the correct continuation, development and upgrading of the provision of broadband access services in Greece.
The indirect result of the above projects is their contribution to the decrease in the digital gap. The importance of the project, especially as regards the economic and social development and the convergence with the other European countries, is shown by the fact that in the agricultural and remote areas, the geographic isolation and the low population density make the commercial investment in broadband networks non advantageous and in semi-urban and urban areas of the regions the income level of the candidate users in relation to the high cost of broadband infrastructures make the development of such networks non viable yet, although it is estimated that in the future the commercial viability will be feasible, when the cost will be sufficiently reduced by mass diffusion.