The RUNE (Rural Network) project is poised to begin rolling out gigabit broadband across 165 municipalities in Slovenia and 45 municipalities in Croatia. RUNE is the first project in Europe financed by the CEBF to address the lack of broadband infrastructure in rural areas by using private investment, without recourse to public non-refundable sources. Its goal is to provide pervasive, high-speed connectivity for every European citizen by connecting citizens living in rural areas with full fibre.

This phase of the project will be delivered by Iskratel, which will provide both active and passive equipment for RUNE Enia (Slovenia) and RUNE Crow (Croatia). The three-year rollout will connect 233,000 households in Slovenia and 130,000 in Croatia to an ultra-fast fibre (XGS-PON and GPON) broadband network that will deliver speeds of up to 10Gbit/s.

“The RUNE project plays an extremely important role in rural development by providing an ultra-fast fibre-optic broadband network – a goal we’re delighted to be contributing to,” said Matjaz Aljancic, Director of the Iskratel Broadband Business Unit.

Goran Zivec, Director of RUNE Enia, stressed that the RUNE project is the first and only international project in the EU connecting the territories of several Member States with ultra-fast broadband. “Providing an open broadband access network to all citizens, regardless of their location, is of utmost importance for the development of rural areas,” he noted.

The news follows hard on the heels of Iskratel’s recent partnership with Ukrtelecom and SID Bank to build a fibre network to more than 200 localities across Ukraine, connecting rural regions across that country.

Posted by Teresa Cottam

Teresa is the Chief Analyst at Omnisperience and has over 25 years' experience in the telecoms and technology markets. She is an expert on SME and enterprise telecoms, and has considerable vertical market expertise. Her research focus lies in helping B2B telecoms firms become more commercially successful by better understanding and meeting their customers' needs. She is a judge of the GSMA Global Mobile Awards (GloMo's) for customer experience and enterprise innovation, and for the UK Cloud awards. You can follow her on Twitter @teresacottam

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