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Public consultation on investment plans in the field of the fast and ultra-fast broadband construction and development in so-called “white and grey” areas

12.11.2019

Broadband is recognised by the European Commission as one of the main tools for improving of the economic and social well-being of the population. It is becoming an increasingly important factor not only for the competitiveness of the enterprises, but also for supporting social inclusion and enables the development and use of e-government services. The spread of high-speed connectivity can lead to a significant increase in gross domestic product, employment, the competitiveness of national economies on the international scene and the quality of life.
The total coverage of fixed broadband networks in 2018 was 96%, which was slightly below the EU average of 97%, and this ranked Bulgaria on 19th place in this ranking. The spread of fixed broadband internet access is 58 %, with an EU average of 77%, putting the country on last place in EU at this indicator. The next generation access coverage is 75%, which ranked Bulgaria on 23th place, as the average in the EU is 83%.The spread of ultrafast broadband is 43%, which is higher than the EU average - 41%, and this ranked the country on the 15th place, due to the higher performance of other Member States.
In implementation of the measure “Updating the data on next generation broadband, which includes information on the availability and geographical location of the regional operators' infrastructure” of the National Broadband Infrastructure Plan for Next Generation Access, the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communication (MTITC) annually prepares and publishes information on the offering of broadband access to the Internet on the territory of the country.
In this regard, for the creation of the database, the Ministry takes into account the objectives set out in the Digital Agenda for Europe, namely by 2020, (i) all Europeans have access to much higher internet speeds of above 30 Mbps (>30 Mbps) and (ii) 50% or more of European households subscribe to internet connections above 100 Mbps (>100 Mbps). In addition, the strategic objective for 2025 of the European Gigabit Society Strategy was also taken into account:  All European households, rural or urban, to have access to Internet connectivity offering a downlink of at least 100 Mbps, upgradable to Gigabit speeds.


This map was created on the data of existing data sets collected by the National Public Authorities. The main database is based of the Annual Report of the Communications Regulation Commission 2018 and information from its annual questionnaires on the Activity of the enterprises in 2018. In particular is based on the information from the Form "A Questionnaire to Report the Activity in 2019 of the enterprises, which offering data transmission services and / or Internet access services" and “A Questionnary of the Broadband Access to Internet by 01/07/2019”. The information of the broadband access in the Republic of Bulgaria by municipalities is also available in .csv format (List of “white and  grey" areas).
The information is an up-to-date “mapping” of the existing private and public infrastructure and the quality of the service while using a standard indicators for "mapping" a broadband networks, including about the needs of the sectors, with specific demands.
The data is visualized by using the Eurostat system of local administrative units (LAU), compatible with NUTS. These LAU are the building blocks of NUTS and includes municipalities of the European Union.
The above information is available in the “BB Mapping” section on the SINGLE INFORMATION POINT at: https://sipbg.gov.bg/SIP.Experts/public/eit/bbMapping_en.htm.
The “Rural Development Programme” 2014-2020 provides sub-measure 7.3.“Broadband infrastructure, including its creation, improvement and expansion, passive broadband infrastructure and measures for access to broadband infrastructure and e-government solutions”, on which should to be realized a next-generation broadband project for EUR 30 million. The State e-Government Agency has been designated as the sole eligible candidate under the procedure. The project is aimed to ensuring connectivity of a maximum number of municipal centers to the Single Electronic Communication Network for improving the provision and use of e-services for citizens and businesses. The implementation of the project does not expect a displacement of market initiative and a violation of the principles of free competition.
Realization of the intervention is extremely important because the construction of a protected, secure and reliable next-generation broadband infrastructure and the creation of prerequisites for the development of broadband services for the population in some rural and sparsely populated areas in Bulgaria is on unsatisfactory level. Achieving the objectives of intervention will promote social inclusion, economic development in these areas, poverty reduction, and support the e-government development.
Fulfill its role of the National Broadband Competence Office (BCO), the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications organize a Public consultation on investment plans in the field of the fast and ultra-fast broadband construction and development in so-called “white and grey” areas, with collection of  information on each of the municipalities defined as “white” area( in case of availability of broadband infrastructure and services):
• Presence of optical connectivity, capacity;
•​Are conditions available for competitive supply of internet and broadband services to citizens and businesses;
• Are there available a free optical fibres and, if so, are they rented and on what price;
• Services offered (type, wholesale, retail and on what price its be provided to end-users for the purpose of the project);
• Supported access interfaces (speeds, interface type);
• Existence of registered investment intentions to build broadband infrastructure in the next 3 years in these areas. Where is available, is required, determination of the territorial scope of the planned infrastructure, the level of coverage with broadband services and the level of financial assurance of the investment intention.
We call on all stakeholders to actively participate and provide information on the so formulated positions.
End of consultation: 12/12/2019
e-mail: EkipEIT@mtitc.government.bg