North Macedonia saw the rapid development of the electronic communications market as a result of the opening up of the telecommunications sector to competition, and of the considerable progress achieved in the area of regulatory reform and harmonization with EU acquis. For example, in the mid-2000s, the country was one of the pioneers worldwide in terms of adoption of basic wireless internet technologies, thanks to the USAID funded 'Macedonia Connects' Project the country became internationally known as the first “wireless” country.
However, over time, the speed of digital infrastructure development lost steam. In the beginning of 2018, only 79.3% of the households had access to the internet at home, aligned with the statistic affirming that around the same percentage of the total population (aged 15-74) use the internet.
Through the proposed Project, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia aims to considerably improve the state of the national Digital (broadband) Infrastructure by investing in the backhaul networks to benefit selected Project areas. The Project will have 2 components, one including the construction of the National Transport Optical Network, which will connect white zones, justified grey zones, and public institutions, while de second component will include Project Implementation Support.
|National contribution||External Grant||€ 10,000,000|
|WBIF||External Grant||€ 300,000|
|WBIF||External Grant||€ 15,550,000|
|World Bank||External Grant||€ 226,301|
|World Bank||External Grant||€ 455,285|
|Total Grants||€ 624,000|
|Total Loans||€ 30,000,000|