Supporting Georgia’s digital switchover
In 2015, we provided a €1.9 million loan to Georgian broadcast operator Stereo+, together with Georgia’s TBC Bank, to support the country’s switch from analogue to digital broadcasting. The European Union supports this transaction through a risk-sharing facility which underpins the establishment of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with Georgia.
The digital switchover is critical in modernising the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, which will help Georgia to meet EU standards. The use of digital broadcasting will make additional capacity available by freeing up frequencies. This will lead, in turn, to more advanced services and a more diverse and competitive market – two key goals in the establishment of the DCFTA.
In addition, a technical cooperation project launched in 2015 in Georgia and supported by the Slovak Republic is looking at developing the local ICT sector. It aims to harmonise the country’s legal framework with that of the EU, accelerating investment into broadband connectivity outside urban centres and modernising regulations in the sector.