A WebGIS is supporting the broadband subsidy application process in Austria

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Broadband offensive: A WebGIS is supporting the broadband subsidy application process in Austria

The broadband offensive of the Federal Ministry for Traffic, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) started on 28.05.2015. A WebGIS solution from WIGeoGIS is helping to map the planned infrastructure.

The subsidy programs Leerrohr, Access, Backhaul and AT:net were drawn up within the framework of a master plan for broadband promotion. These subsidy programs form the foundation for the allocation of subsidies that originate from the so-called "broadband billion". The aim is to close the digital gap between the country and cities with the help of these subsidies.

What criteria are used to allocate the subsidies?
The broadband office of the BMVIT has developed a series of criteria to support assessors in evaluating the factual and technical contents of the applications as objectively as possible. The basis is formed - in addition to formal requirements - by spatial criteria such as e.g. the current regional coverage rate and the improvements aimed for through such a subsidy for educational institutions, companies or the population. The Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) is responsible for the implementation of all application processing. WIGeoGIS has provided the program components for the applications relating to the mapping of the planned infrastructure. A WebGIS that can be called up via a web browser by the applicants is used here. It is directly integrated in the workflow of the application preparation.

In order to import existing geodata (such as the existing infrastructure of the applicant), the Editor offers KML import and export functions. The data can therefore be easily exchanged with GIS systems or even Google Earth.

  • Editor: Mapping of the planned digital infrastructure (connections, cables, etc.)
  • Viewer: Display of the mapped infrastructure in combination with further relevant layers
  • Statistics: Determination of the eligible areas based on the entries in the Editor

An easy-to-use WebGIS with the following core functions is available for the applicant: WebGIS functions

Ease of operation
One of the main challenges during the design of the solution was to ensure the easiest and most intuitive operation possible. Every applicant - whether municipal company, municipality or network operator - must be able to work with the system. Teaching videos were also created in addition to a digital handbook for support.

Statistical analyses
The necessary statistical key figures were determined for each application on the basis of the graphical entries in the Editor. The "equations" that are behind these key figures link several data layers to obtain the required data.

"The inclusion of WebGIS in the workflow of the subsidy program enables analyses for project evaluation during application, and analyses in each of the 2 further phases (contract preparation and invoicing) during tendering for the subsidy program. The future benefits, and therefore the success of the funding measures, for the population can therefore be promptly determined at the end of each phase," stated Erwin Grabler, Broadband office of the BMVIT.

The application period for the so-called Leerrohr program is currently under way. Two further subsidy programs will be starting shortly: These are aimed at mobile and landline operators, and are intended to improve the connection infrastructure (Backhaul program) and improve availability (Access program).

Prior experience
The political decision to develop this subsidy program gave rise to a logistical and organisational challenge. The online system for applications and the necessary background data needed to be set up efficiently and rapidly by the broadband office in cooperation with FFG and WIGeoGIS. This was made possible through the long-term specialist know-how of all participating institutions and persons.


Chief Technical Officer


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