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Public Private Partnership model is one of the most promising forms of collaboration between involved sectors for a purpose of Broadband infrastructure deployment. The project aimed to improve accessibility and develop strategies to tackle the „digital divide“ in the rural parts of the South-East European (SEE).  

  • Project name: Tackling the „Broadband Gap“ in SEE Rural areas through PPP model
  • 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
  • DEX Innovation Centre’s role: The co-author of the broadband models and methodology for customization, the author of methodology for Centres of Excellence

Project description

Across the South-East European territory, there are rural areas with a high percentage of people living with no or very weak broadband iternet coverage, representing a part of the broadband gap. It is proven 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 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,  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 is a direct result of the project.
  • 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.
  • In the East Region in Macedonia, 11 mayors communicated and cooperated intensively. They 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, about 200 municipalities across the SEE have gained a better understanding of broadband projects through 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 Guide assists and leads all the stakeholders, especially local authorities that want to participate in this kind of projects. They will better understand and deploy broadband infrastructures in order to enable a better life for 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
That model provides step by step guide to the public procurers for the preparation of the design phase of PPP projects focused on broadband development. DEX IC was one of the main co-authors of the PPP4Broadband models and also developed the methodology for the national customization of the models into the national legal frameworks. In the framework of the project the following nine PPP4Broadband models were developed:

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)


PRIVATE DBO - design, build and operate
The 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.

PUBLIC DBO (design, build and operate)

The 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).

PUBLIC DBO (návrh, sestavení a provoz)

Model zahrnuje veřejný sektor a funguje bez jakéhokoli zásahu soukromého sektoru, výjimkou je poskytovatel služeb (velkoobchodní nebo maloobchodní). Vše včetně rozmístění a provozu sítě jsou řízeny veřejným sektorem. Veřejný sektoru, který síť provozuje, nabízí velkoobchodní služby s maloobchodním potenciálem. 

GOCO (Government-owned-contractor-operated - public outsourcing)
Under this 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 an 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.  Bottom-up funded projects tend to be on a smaller scale than projects that use the other funding models. 

3) PPP4Broadband Portal (done by DEX)
It provides important information for successful deployment of broadband projects using PPP models to the public procurers.  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.



) National PPP4Broadband Centres of Excellence
Non-profit based national PPP4B Centres of Excellence were established in 9 countries of South-East Europe. They support public actors in broadband infrastructure deployment. National PPP4Broadband Centres of Excellence concentrate the knowledge in the field of PPP models for broadband deployment in rural areas. For precise guiding of public actors Centres of Excellence use the standardized manual to ensure high-quality consultations and also use PPP4Broadband models that were researched and developed within the project. 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 proved the concept of the previously developed PPP4Broadband tools. These pilot activities took place in the four areas: 
Patras (Greece), 
Makedonska Kamenica (FYROM), 
Alba Iulia (Romania),
Ajdovscina (Slovenia).

I Slovenia the 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)
Full day conference has been organized by AIEC in Brussels. All together we have had 12 speakers from 9 countries. The conference was very attractive, with a large audience. There were 90 participants from 15 countries. Our speakers included representatives of the European Commission, Mrs Anna Krzyzanowska,  the head of B2 unit, and also Mr Florian Damas Alcatel Lucent (current Nokia), the representative of European biggest industrial actors in the field.

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

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