Next Generation Broadband Connectivity for Rural Schools in White Zones

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Project Financing

EBRD Grant WB22-SRB-DII-01 € 1,700,000
National contribution Own Contribution € 500,000
EBRD Loan € 72,000,000
National contribution Own Contribution € 30,000
Future WBIF grant, or loan Other Sources € 2,700,000
Total € 76,930,000
Total Grants € 1,700,000
Total Loans € 72,000,000

Project Description

Improving and expanding access to educational opportunities for all students has long been a goal for policymakers, educators, and parents. In recent years, the government has emphasized the importance of broadband communications technology as a means for achieving this goal. Broadband can help connect teachers to students, parents, and free educational resources. Broadband also helps schools share classes, curricula, and other resources. Lack of broadband connections for rural schools will become a growing problem for Serbia if steps are not taken now—one-fourth of all students attend a rural school and in recent years rural enrolment growth has outpaced growth in all other school locales. Without adequate high-speed internet infrastructure, rural schools and the students they serve will be left behind.

This project aims to support the rural broadband infrastructure development in 3 phases through the preparation of the complete project documentation necessary for the implementation and deployment of a rural broadband network to be used by schools. The project will enable development infrastructure and interconnection of the 2 existing operators’ networks and schools in rural(white) zones. Schools will obtain fibre connectivity (1 Gbps+), while neighbouring households (private investment part that will follow middle-mile CAPEX investment by the government) will obtain 30+Mbps connectivity.

Results and Benefits

  • Completion of detailed fixed broadband availability mapping in intervention areas
  • 600 schools in the II phase in the period of 2 years and 900 schools in the III phase in rural-white zones connected to broadband with appropriate speed
  • 90,000 households in the II phase and 135,000 households in the III phase in rural-white zones provided with next-generation (above 30Mbit/s) connectivity
  • Quality-of-education in schools is improved, IT teachers employed, and children trained and educated to use internet in everyday schoolwork, in rural-white zones
  • Improve the quality of living in the rural zones, due to better access to services and information, what broadband connection with appropriate speed is enabled
  • Countries: Serbia
  • Code: PRJ-SRB-DII-005
  • Sector: Digital infrastructure
  • Monitor IFI: EBRD
  • Status: Preparation
  • Beneficiary:
Project financing split

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