Foundations are being laid for the creation of the Balkan Digital Highway

Athens, January 24, 2024

The acceleration of the strategic cooperation between Grid Telecom, a subsidiary company and operator of telecommunications services of IPTO, and the Operator of the Electricity Transmission System of Bulgaria ESO EAD, became active during the visit of the management of ESO-EAD to Athens, on the occasion of the participation at the CESEC Ministerial Conference and at the special event for the inauguration of the second Greece-Bulgaria electrical interconnection (Nea Santa-Maritsa East).

Grid Telecom and ESO EAD are planning the utilization of the optical fibers installed in the two Ultra High Voltage Transmission Lines between Greece and Bulgaria. In this way they lay the groundwork for the creation of the Balkans Digital Highway which is in line with the World Bank's goals in the wider region and aims to improve access to high-speed broadband services nationally and internationally through electricity transmission networks.

The two companies have set the commercial exploitation of available fiber optic networks and other existing infrastructure as a common strategic goal, creating new revenue streams from business opportunities in the wholesale international telecommunications market.

The aim is to build an alternative regional telecommunications network in the Balkans and SE Europe, with geographically shorter routing and extremely low latency compared to existing traditional networks, offering maximum security, strong backup and alternative connections with ultra-high data transmission speeds.

Director of Grid Telecom, Mr. Giorgos Psyrris, said: "At the time of the digital transition, telecommunication interconnectivity is our strategic goal. Our collaboration with ESO EAD will create a new state-of-the-art telecommunication bridge for even faster and more reliable data transfer in the Balkans and SE Europe. Through the technological upgrade of the domestic optical fiber backbone and the continuous expansion of its network connection points to central Europe and other international destinations, Grid Telecom will continue to create mutually beneficial business synergies contributing to the digital transition of the wider region".

President and CEO of ESO EAD, Mr. Angelin Tsachev, said: “The electricity transmission infrastructure we share with Greece differentiates our operation and expands our capabilities. A typical example is the double electrical interconnection between Greece and Bulgaria, which now allows us to offer reliable telecommunications services in the Balkan region. I express my warm thanks to the CEO and all the executives of the IPTO group for the excellent cooperation all these years. I am confident that our joint effort will help us face the challenges of the green transition and take advantage of new opportunities, such as this one."