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February 7, 2023
BUSINESS

EC: 57 M euro for RO-NET communications project

The European Commission has approved an investment of EUR 57.1 M within the European Regional development Fund, out of a total investment of EUR 69 M, for the development of a 3,265 Km broadband infrastructure in the so-called ‘blank spots’ of Romania, which are not covered by access or distribution electronic communications networks. The RO-NET project will cover 783 of the 2,268 localities identified as ‘blank spots’ in Romania and will contribute to bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas by providing broadband internet to a number of approximately 130,000 households with 400,000 inhabitants, 8,500 enterprises and 2.800 public institutions.
The European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Jojannes Hahn, who signed the decision, said: ‘Projects of this type serve to create improved framework conditions for the business environment and the citizens and permit less developed Romanian regions to benefit from the opportunities offered by the digital economy. This is the perfect example of how the cohesion policy can have a direct contribution to reaching the objectives set forth in the EU agenda for economic growth <Europa 2020\>, and to the economic development of the regions’.
The investment will be implemented as part of the ‘Improving economic competitiveness’ programme until the end of 2015, and is funded under the priority axis ‘IT&C for private and public sectors’.
This is classified as a ‘major project’, with the total investment (including VAT) being over EUR 50 M, therefore it required a special decision of the European Commission, unlike other types of projects that are approved at a national or regional level.
The RO-NET project will complete the telecommunications infrastructure belonging to existing operators in the target regions and will offer open and undiscriminating access to service providers to companies and individual consumers.
The project co-financing is covered by the 2007-2013 programming period. Romania was allocated approximately EUR 20 bn within the cohesion policy for the period 2007-2013. For the next programming period, our country received an allocation of 22.9 bn euro (calculated at current prices).

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