PR: The start of a major investment cycle in the modernization of the internet network in the Slovenian countryside
22/09/2022 – In October, construction work will begin on the development of a new, approximately 1,600 km long, optical network, which will finally give 52,000 households the opportunity to connect to high-quality ultra-fast broadband infrastructure. This is the next phase of an investment worth 160 million euros, which will take place in the coming years, and its goal is to equip approximately 190,000 households, farms and businesses in the Slovenian countryside with a broadband network.
The RUNE project connects settlements in rural areas of Slovenia, which are less commercially interesting for central providers, with a global network. RUNE is a fully private foreign investment that enables the development of the European countryside through the construction of broadband infrastructure.
The development of a broadband network significantly improves the quality of living, studying and working in rural areas. A high-quality network is good news for agricultural and food-processing activities, an incentive for the development of rural tourism and also for the development of the entire economy in less attractive environments.
In the municipality of Brda, where the RUNE network has already been built, and more citizens are connected to it every day, the positive effects of better access to the Internet are already showing. Thus, Franc Mužič, mayor of the municipality of Brda: »In the municipality of Brda, we tried for a very long time to get better access to the Internet, because it worked very slowly here. That is why we were very happy when, in the second half of 2021, the construction of a broadband optical network started in the municipality as part of the RUNE project. For us, this represents an added value that has a significant impact on the development of our municipality and the quality of life of its residents. With access to a fast and reliable internet connection, business and schooling are easier and better, and at the same time, the possibilities of agriculture, tourism and winemaking as one of the key economic sectors in Brda are also improving.«
After the successfully signed contracts with the contractors, the future investment cycle will take place in two phases, starting with the construction of the infrastructure in October 2022, in five geographically rounded units. The construction of the network will take place scattered throughout Slovenia, in Šaleška dolina, Celje, Savinjska dolina, Pomurje and Podravje.
Municipalities that will be included in the future phase of the RUNE project:
- Braslovče, Celje, Dobrna, Mislinja, Mozirje, Polzela, Šmartno ob Paki, Šoštanj, Tabor, Velenje, Vojnik, Žalec,
- Dobje, Kozje, Laško, Podčetrtek, Šentjur, Šmarje pri Jelšah,
- Majšperk, Makole, Poljčane, Rogaška Slatina, Rogatec, Slovenska Bistrica, Šmarje pri Jelšah, Videm, Žetale,
- Apače, Benedikt, Gornja Radgona, Sveta Ana, Tišina,
- Cankova, Grad, Hodoš, Kuzma, Moravske Toplice, Murska Sobota, Puconci, Rogašovci, Šalovci, Tišina.
Work on the mentioned sections will not take place simultaneously, but rather in sequence, in accordance with the complexity of the construction of individual sections and the availability of construction teams. All work in this development cycle is expected to be completed in the course of 2023.
Stojan Nikolič, CEO of RUNE Enia d.o.o.: »After the standstill during the epidemic, our company successfully continues with its mission and pursues the set goals, to provide ultra-fast broadband optical infrastructure to users in rural areas in Slovenia and parts of Croatia. The next development cycle is our biggest so far, and it was made possible by the investment of four European banks, which supported the development with a total of 160 million euros. Our work will continue in the coming years, and the goal is to connect 190,000 households, farms and businesses to the broadband network. We are convinced that the future lies in polycentric development, the attractiveness and quality of life in the countryside and the development charge of tourism and economic development will be significantly strengthened with our network. After the completion of the development of the network in the mentioned areas, we will continue with a new investment cycle, for which we are already obtaining the necessary permits and preparing organizational, technical and other necessary conditions.«
About the RUNE project
The RUNE project in Slovenia is implemented by the company RUNE Enia d.o.o. RUNE is the first and at the moment also the only cross-border project at the EU level, which connects the territories of several member states with ultra-fast broadband optical infrastructure, which received funds from the private Connecting Europe Broadband Fund (CEBF). The latter is the majority owner of Rune Group S.A., which owns the companies RUNE Enia (Slovenia) and RUNE Crow (Croatia).
In early December 2019, the RUNE project was awarded the EU Broadband Award by the European Commission as the best project in the category.
More information about the RUNE project: www.ruralnetwork.eu
Additional information and statements: Tina Ambrožič, Head of Public Relations [email protected]