Rural Area Information Technology Broadband Network (RAIN) (RAIN)

Published on: 30/10/2007
RAIN is a phased broadband infrastructure development to bring broadband to Lithuanian Municipal offices, citizens, and enterprises in under-served rural areas. The purpose of the Rural Area Information Technology Broadband Network (RAIN) is, in essence, to improve the possibilities of the inhabitants of rural areas in Lithuania to use information technology to improve their lives. The project schedules the building of fibre-optics broadband network channels in all the rural local administration centres that currently do not have such connectivity. The total length of such channels will be 3,200 kilometres.

Policy Context

- i2010 - Communication form the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions “Bridging the Broadband Gap” {SEC(2006) 354} {SEC(2006) 355}, COM/2006/129, 2006 03 20 - Community strategic guidelines for rural development (programming period 2007 to 2013), (2006/144/EC 2006 02 20 - Lithuania Broadband infrastructure development strategy for 2005-2010 period. Lithuania Government Decree Nr.1231, 2005 11 01.

Description of target users and groups

Users in rural areas, who will accumulate greater funds of knowledge, take a more active part in public life, get more successful results in developing competitive activities, and improve their situation in the areas of social security, health protection, cultural life and public administration.

Description of the way to implement the initiative

Four partners are involved in project implementation: Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania and the public company Placiajuostis Internetas. The supervisory committee, involving members of all partners and other concerned ministries was found for decision-making in project implementation. Local region administrations are involved in the preparation and implementation of the project. Fibre-optical lines and locations of network nodes are adjusted with the local authorities.

Technology solution

The chosen technology is fiber-optics. This technology assures longevity of the network for at least 20 years. World’s technological open standards play a significant role in the selection of the technological aspects of implementation and equipment. Technology choice: Standards-based technology, Mainly (or only) open standards

Main results, benefits and impacts

The main innovations are based on the technological aspect of the project implementation. The most modern fibre-optical infrastructure is built providing unlimited transmission capacity and technological neutrality for access. The fiber-optical infrastructure will connect all local administrations in the territories of rural local administration centers to appropriate municipalities forming 51 separate non-interconnected networks. The capacity of fiber-optical lines will ensure the planned demand of data transmission services for a period of at least 20 years. All technical characteristics of the cable and equipment correspond to the most modern technical standards. It is planned that the completion of the RAIN project and the resulting substantial improvement of the possibilities for the inhabitants of rural areas to use internet connectivity will create considerably more favourable conditions for economic and cultural activities, the development of alternative activities and partnership, as well as education, learning, prequalification, reception and provision of services, communication with self-governance and public bodies.

Return on investment

Return on investment: Not applicable / Not available

Track record of sharing

The project encourages private operators to make investments to the last mile infrastructure in rural areas.

Lessons learnt

Lesson 1 - As the feasibility study of the project was prepared a few years before the start of implementation, planned prices of labour and oil have increased dramatically over the period. There was a lack of finance resources in the period of project implementation. Additional funding was done by the Republic of Lithuania. Lesson 2 - The project’s feasibility study analyzes various technological and longevity aspects of different data transmission technologies. The analysis involved solutions from wireless to fiber-optical connectivity with their specific plusses and minuses. Today it is obvious that long-term solutions like fiber-optics are to be the choice of preference. Scope: National