Source: European Investment Bank
- The EIB to invest €100 million in Telekom Slovenije to extend its fibre optic network, increasing the speed of internet connections in Slovenia;
- Significantly extended fibre optic network to enhance the quality of life and improve how business is done in Slovenia;
- Investment increases Slovenia’s resilience to natural disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring continuity of business and public services including education;
- Operation benefits from the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility.
The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, will invest €100 million in Telekom Slovenije and finance the extension of its Gigabit-speed-capable broadband network in Slovenia. The extended fibre optic network will enhance the quality of life and improve how business is done in the country while strengthening Slovenia’s resilience to natural disasters, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Slovenian businesses and households, including those in rural areas not served until now, will be able to benefit from significantly increased speed, reliability, coverage and bandwidth in their internet connections, all at a lower cost. The EIB operation will accelerate the digitalisation of the Slovenian economy and support the European Union’s strategy to create a digital single market in Europe.
With the newly built fibre optic network, Slovenia will also be a stronger position to provide continuity in business and public services, including education or online trade, during natural disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic, thereby increasing the nation’s resilience to emergencies.
Lilyana Pavlova, vice president of the EIB who is in charge of operations in Slovenia, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has showed us that reliable and fast internet connections are a must if our societies are to function normally. By providing information, entertainment and connecting us with our families and friends, the internet has allowed us to continue with our education and maintain our businesses by working from home or continuing to trade online. Our investment in Telekom Slovenije will help to enhance the quality of life and improve how business is done in Slovenia, allowing the country to accelerate its digitalisation and modernisation. For the EIB, this operation consolidates our pledge to support the sustainable, long-term economic and social development of Slovenia.”
Tomaž Seljak, MSc., President of the Management Board of Telekom Slovenije, d.d, said: “Telekom Slovenije manages the biggest and most modern fibre optic network in Slovenia, covering more than 360 000 Slovenian households. We are constantly expanding and upgrading our network with new technologies in order to provide users with cutting-edge telecommunication services. Our top-of-the-line fibre optic access network is preparing the foundations of the infrastructure for future telecommunications activities, in accordance with our country’s vision and our own network development strategy.”
Slovenia to benefit from EU Connecting Europe Facility
The operation benefits from the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) and its EIB-managed CEF Debt Instrument. While the CEF provides grants to support the development of high-performance, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services, the CEF Debt Instrument creates a risk-sharing facility in support of the above targets.
About the EIB in Slovenia
Total EIB lending commitments in Slovenia since the start of the EU bank’s operations in the country have reached €6.99 billion. The EIB has invested in key sectors of the Slovenian economy, including transport, the environment, energy infrastructure, manufacturing and services. A key component of the EU bank’s activity in Slovenia is the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by increasing their access to long-term financing through local financial institutions. To date, the EU bank has supported more than 5 000 Slovenian SMEs, sustaining more than 44 000 jobs in the process.
About Telekom Slovenije
Telekom Slovenije connects users and simplifies their lives through a range of the most advanced ICT services and solutions. As the leading Slovenian provider of leading-edge communication solutions, Telekom Slovenije continuously strives for the development and introduction of new innovative technologies with the aim of providing users with a superior network, top-of-the-line services and an outstanding experience. It is recognised for connecting new generations of mobile and fixed communications, system integration, cloud services, multimedia content and advanced ICT services.
About the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is an EU programme to support the development of high-performance, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services.
The CEF benefits people and businesses in the European Union. It makes travel easier and more sustainable, it enhances Europe’s energy security while enabling the wider use of renewables, and it facilitates cross-border interaction between public administrations, businesses and the public.
About the CEF Debt Instrument (CEF DI)
In addition to grants managed by the European Commission, the European Investment Bank has implemented the CEF Debt Instrument (CEF DI), a risk-sharing facility that mainly covers the transport and energy sectors. The CEF DI is used to address specific market needs where there is insufficient private finance to support investment. CEF grants and the CEF DI can be combined where needed to support projects. The CEF DI financing covers a wide range of loans, guarantees and high-risk funding, tailored to specific financing needs and levels of risk exposure. Under the CEF DI, the EIB provides financing in the form of senior debt, subordinated debt and guarantees. The CEF DI offers financing either directly or via a financial intermediary.