HETFA worked in cooperation with Equinox Consulting Ltd., and an evaluation report was prepared by our experts focusing on broadband developments in Hungary in the programming period 2014-2020. Our experts assessed the financial and technical progress, results and impacts of broadband developments. Furthermore, experts draw conclusions and set out proposals.
We examined which applied methods served the strategic goals most efficiently. We also evaluated the financial and technical progress and results of the interventions, the efficiency of the use of grants, loans and combined financial instruments, as well as the territorial aspects. The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the progress of the projects were also taken into consideration. Considering that the target values of indicators are set to 2023, this evaluation should be regarded as an interim report.
The target of 100% coverage of residential and business demand sites is expected to be almost fully achieved by the end of 2023. The time delays in projects were caused on the one hand by low design and construction capacity, on the other hand caused by design difficulties due to the use of a common electric stakes, and inaccuracies in the address list. The lack of liquidity on beneficiary side due to delays should be also taken into account. Therefore, broadband developments have generated demand in the Hungarian telecommunication sector that the sector was not prepared for when the projects were launched.
Network developments in state/municipal and educational institutions have covered the whole country, however the indicator on average bandwidth available in these institutions is limited in its ability to show the impact of these developments due to the large variance. Therefore, the required bandwidth can vary heavily between different types of institutions.
The take-up of funds from the loan programme to support broadband development has been very low and payments have often been delayed. The conditions of the scheme were not favourable enough for the beneficiaries and the administrative burden increased by the involvement of MFB in the procedure.
In the case of the examined constructions, more sources went to the regions where broadband coverage was the lowest and where the number of service locations to be covered was the largest, so the allocation of resources for broadband development was appropriate.
Our experts propose to differentiate by are and target groups when it comes to broadband deployment. It is also recommended to extend the project implementation period to 36 months and to further simplify the rules of the common pole line. Regarding the residential end-points, it is proposed to differentiate between the targets to be achieved in public institutions. It is necessary to review the system of IT public procurement, to improve the organisation of public procurement and to reduce the cost of procedures. Assessing the need for repayable aid should also be taken into account, in line with the simplification of submission procedure.
The full evaluation report (in Hungarian – with Executive Summary in English ) on the assessment of broadband developments in Hungary can be found here.