ITU and Broadband Foundation foster investment in South Eastern Europe broadband infrastructure
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is collaborating with the Broadband Foundation to uphold South Eastern European (SEE) countries in mapping broadband infrastructure and services and identifying investment opportunities. This is done through the ‘Supporting Investment Opportunity Mapping Systems in Broadband Infrastructure for South Eastern Europe’ project that promotes the digital transformation of the Western Balkans economy. The project focuses on eight countries: Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. It works on three strands: (a) increase the transparency of broadband infrastructure information (b) increase private investment with new operators entering the market; (c) increase opportunities for delivering public aid without distortion of competition. ‘Even though Europe leads the broadband challenge at the global level, reaching 32% of fixed broadband penetration and 97.4% of mobile-broadband subscriptions, there is a lot to be done to close the digital divide at the regional level. The Europe Region consists of 46 countries and shows significant diversity in terms of connectivity and use of ICTs,’ said Head of the ITU Office for Europe, Jaroslaw Ponder.