Ljubljana, 14 February (STA) - The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology has awarded EUR 36.8m in EU development funds to five consortiums representing 23 municipalities for building broadband internet access in rural areas, Higher Education Minister Gregor Golobic told the press on Monday.
The consortiums headed by the Mokronog-Trebelno, Sezana, Pivka, Mozirje and Slovenske Konjice municipalities will use the funds to provide 13,497 households with broadband internet access.
Golobic told the press conference that the sum represented the bulk of that earmarked for helping rural municipalities build broadband infrastructure as part of the latest call to applications.
Since there is still a significant need to help rural areas build broadband internet infrastructure, the ministry will strive to secure an additional EUR 10m in EU funds and provide fresh national funds for another call to applications this year, he added.
This was the second such call to applications, the first having been published in 2007, when the ministry co-funded broadband network construction in 20 municipalities with EUR 45.2m. Those projects were completed in December 2010.
The call for applications is in line with the operative programme for the reinforcement of regional development potentials for the period of 2007-2013, which envisages broadband internet access in all Slovenian regions.