The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is to help bring broadband Internet services to more Turkish regions. The bank is supporting the expansion of broadband services in eastern regions of Turkey, and is making a €100 million loan available to the leading telecommunications group in Turkey, Türk Telekomünikasyon AS (TT).
The aim is to provide integrated telecom services including broadband Internet and traditional phone and mobile services. The European bank is concerned that Turkey needs significant investment to catch up with the rest of Western Europe in terms of broadband availability, especially as the country has such a young population. At the moment less than 15% of the country’s population have access to broadband. The average coverage in Western Europe is 40%.
Expanding broadband coverage beyond the large cities in Turkey is essential for the continued growth of the economy. Further development of the information and communication technology sector will also help support this growth. Türk Telekomünikasyon AS has an ambitious plan to extend broadband coverage to all provinces in Turkey, including those in remote areas by 2016.
The loan from the European bank will help bring modern Internet services to households and businesses in remote areas where services are limited or non-existent. This expansion is important as Turkey is aiming to be one of the top 10 economies in the world by 2023, and improved technology and innovation is essential to this ambitious plan.
Since the EBRD began operating in Turkey, it has committed nearly €2 billion to various parts of the economy, and this has led to additional investment of more than €5 billion.