Project name: Tackling the „Broadband Gap“ in SEE Rural areas through PPP model
Priority Axis: Improvement of the accessibility
Area of Intervention: Develop strategies to tackle the „digital divide“
Lead Partner: Agency for Innovation and European Cooperation (Slovakia)
Project Partners: ICT Technology Network Institute (Slovenia), Technical University of Gabrovo (Bulgaria), INNOSKART Nonprofit Business Development Ltd. (Hungary), Patras Municipal Enterprise for Planning and Development (Greece), Region of Western Greece (Greece), National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics ICI-Bucharest (Romania), Prefect Institution-Sibiu County (Romania), FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences (Austria), Alba Iulia Association for Intercommunity Development (Romania), Vojvodina ICT cluster (Serbia), Center for Knowledge Management (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Innofinanz- Steiermärkische Forschungs- und Entwicklungsförderungs GesmbH (Austria), MAG - Hungarian Economic Development Centre (Hungary), Ministry of Transport Information Technology and Communications (Bulgaria), Public Agency for Technology of the Republic of Slovenia (Slovenia), Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic (Slovakia), Centre for Development of the East Planning Region (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).
Duration: 12/2012 – 12/2014

It is proven and well known that broadband gap has a negative impact on economic growth and social cohesion. PPP4Broadband project aimed to improve the development of virtual accessibility in South-East European rural areas - using PPP models – in order to increase rural economic and social development. The need for proper broadband connectivity has been widely recognized also from local authorities in the areas that lack such services, which are willing to take the main role to ensure the development of the rural areas. PPP4Broadband project delivered numerous innovative tools for guiding and supporting public procurers who want to undergo PPP procurement to select the most suitable private provider of broadband infrastructure.

The whole concept of PPP4Broadband was proved through the realization of 4 pilot investments using PPP4Broadband models in Greece, Romania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Throughout the implementation of the pilot actions, the indirect target group was the citizens of pilot municipalities. In Slovenia, a direct result of PPP4Broadband pilot action is the mobilization of private providers who showed commercial interest to cover 25 settlements with 2437 households in Municipality of Ajdovščina with 100 Mbps in the upcoming 3 years. In Greece, thanks to the participation to the Connected Communities initiative, a larger investment is proposed along with the Region of Western Greece that covers the biggest number of excluded suburbs in Municipality of Patras with 8613 inhabitants, which corresponds to approximately 2150 households. At the level of the East Region in Macedonia, the outputs are mainly seen in the intensified communication and cooperation with all 11 mayors, who are all well informed of the existence of PPP models for broadband and represent an excellent potential for new cases of PPP models.

In total, approximately 200 municipalities across the SEE have gained a better understanding of broadband projects through PPP4Broadband workshops, conferences and other means of promotion. These municipalities are planning to apply for different types of funding to build broadband infrastructure with PPP.


1) Guide on how to use PPP4Broadband
The aim of this Guide is to assist and to guide all the stakeholders, especially local authorities that want to participate in this kind of projects, to better understand and deploy broadband infrastructures in order to enable a better life to their citizens. Through a better understanding of both the broadband specifics and the specifics related to the public-private partnerships and by following the instructions in the correlated PPP model documents, public partners will be enabled to develop a PPP broadband project frame from the initial pre-assessment to the beginning of the procurement process.
'Guidelines on how to use PPP4Broadband models' (PDF, 4,3 MB)

2) PPP4Broadband models development
DEX IC was one of the main co-authors of the PPP4Broadband models that provide step by step guide to the public procurers, for the preparation of the design phase of PPP projects, focused on Broadband development. DEX IC also developed the methodology for the national customization of the models into the national legal frameworks. In the framework of the project the following 9 PPP4Broadband models were developed (SPEED TYPES - basic, NGA, ultra fast):

Basic JV Model (PDF, 1,6 MB)
Basic Private DBO Model (PDF, 1,5 MB)
Public DBO Model (PDF, 1,5 MB)
NGA Bottom Up Model (PDF, 1,5 MB)
NGA JV Model (PDF, 1,6 MB)
NGA Public DBO Model (PDF, 1,5 MB)
Ultrafast GOCO Model (PDF, 1,5 MB)
Ultrafast JV Model (PDF, 1,6 MB)
Ultrafast Private DBO Model (PDF, 1,5 MB)


The private design, build and operate (DBO) model involves a private sector organization receiving some level of public funding (often a grant) to assist in its deployment of a new network offering open wholesale access. Critically, in this model, the public sector has no specific role in the ownership or running of the network, but it may impose obligations relating to either of these in return for the funding.

A public DBO model involves the Managing Authority operating without any private sector intervention, except at a service provider level (involving either wholesale or retail service providers). All aspects of network deployment and operation are managed by the public sector. A networking company is formed by the Managing Authority and typically offers wholesale services, with the potential to offer retail services (although this is not common).

Government-owned-contractor-operated (Public outsourcing). Under a public outsourcing model, a single contract is awarded to a private sector organization, covering all aspects of the design or construction of the network. The key characteristic of this model is that the network is built and operated by the private sector, but the public sector retains ownership and some control of the network.

A joint venture is any agreement where ownership of the network is split between the public and private sector. Construction and operational functions are likely to be undertaken by a private sector organization.

The bottom-up, or local community, model involves a group of end users (comprising local residents and/or businesses) organizing themselves into a jointly owned and democratically controlled organizational group (frequently a cooperative) capable of overseeing the contract to build their own local network. In this model, it is likely that the public sector has no role in owning or running the project, but rather passes the funding to the group itself to oversee the investment project. Given the composition of the local group, it is likely that the day-to-day running of the network will be outsourced to a telecoms operator with the necessary expertise. We have identified example projects which have implemented bottom-up models from both a local point of view and also as part of large-scale (regional) initiatives. Bottom-up funded projects tend to be of a smaller scale than projects that use the other funding models outlined below.

3) PPP4Broadband Portal (done by DEX)
PPP4Broadband portal has been developed by Agency for Innovation and European Cooperation (AIEC is non-profit organization operated by DEX IC in Slovakia) in cooperation with other project partners and external web developer. Its main purpose is to provide guiding for public procurers and important information needed for successful deployment of Broadband projects using PPP models.

4) National PPP4Broadband Centres of Excellence
National PPP4B Centres of Excellence, established in 9 countries of South-East Europe, support (on the non-profit basis) public actors when conducting PPP public procurements in Broadband infrastructure deployment. For precise guiding of public actors, Centres of Excellence use the standardized manual to ensure high-quality consultations and PPP4Broadband Models that were researched and developed within the project. National PPP4Broadband Centres of Excellence aim at concentrating the knowledge in the field of PPP models for broadband deployment in rural areas. DEX IC was the author of methodology for Centres of Excellence establishment and operation and is also the coordinator of the Network.

5) 4x Pilots 
4 pilot actions were implemented in order to prove the concept of the previously developed PPP4Broadband Tools. These pilot activities took place in the four selected areas of Patras (Greece), Makedonska Kamenica (FYROM), Alba Iulia (Romania), and Ajdovscina (Slovenia) where local realization teams undertook the role of the selection of appropriate PPP models, but also prepared the whole investment processes with the support of Centers of Excellence of the project. DEX IC was the key technical advisor for pilot implementation.

6) Connected Communities 
Two out of four pilots (only 2 pilots applied, 100 % success rate) applied to the Connected Communities initiative and were selected to receive technical assistance services under the Connected Europe Facility (CEF), in partnership between the European Commission and the World Bank. Connected Communities Initiative aimed to map potential European broadband projects, and identify the most mature ones, which were being prioritized for "technical assistance". DEX IC participated in the preparation of both applications. Connected Communities Initiative was launched by the DG Connect (Directorate General for Communication Networks, Content and Technology).

7) Final conference in Brussels organized by AIEC
Final, full day conference organized by AIEC in Brussels. Our speakers included representatives of EC (including the head of B2 unit Mrs. Krzyzanowska) and also representatives of European biggest industrial actors in the field (Mr. Damas from Alcatel-Lucent (current Nokia)). All together we have had 12 speakers from 9 countries. The conference attracted 90 participants from 15 countries. It is a reference for dissemination & exploitation showing our abilities to organize an international event in Brussels (another country we have an office), attract top speakers and large audience.

Watch a short film, where Project Partners present their thoughts about what has been achieved: