Croatia - Infrastructure, power, and communications

Judged by Eastern European standards Croatia has a comparatively developed infrastructure. In 1998, the country had 23,497 kilometers (14,601 miles) of paved highways, but only 330 kilometers (205 miles) of these were 4-lane expressways. Since the country suffered significant war damage between 1991 and 1995, it received loans from the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to improve roads, railroads, the electricity and water supply network, and air-traffic control. The government is strongly committed to these efforts, and many of these projects, including the building of 1,600 kilometers (994 miles) of 4-lane highway, are under way.

There are 8 main airports in Croatia (Zagreb, Split, Zadar, Dubrovnik, Osijek, Pula, Rijeka, and Brac) serviced

Communications
Country Newspapers Radios TV Sets a Cable subscribers a Mobile Phones a Fax Machines a Personal Computers a Internet Hosts b Internet Users b
1996 1997 1998 1998 1998 1998 1998 1999 1999
Croatia 115 336 272 N/A 41 11.2 111.6 25.94 200
United States 215 2,146 847 244.3 256 78.4 458.6 1,508.77 74,100
Yugoslavia 107 297 259 N/A 23 1.9 18.8 7.65 80
Slovenia 199 406 356 150.5 84 9.8 250.9 99.34 250
a Data are from International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Development Report 1999 and are per 1,000 people.
b Data are from the Internet Software Consortium ( http://www.isc.org ) and are per 10,000 people.
SOURCE: World Bank. World Development Indicators 2000.

by major airline companies. Croatian seaports include Rijeka, Pula, Sibenik, Split, Ploce, and Dubrovnik, all of which are located on the Adriatic Sea. Transportation between these seaports and many islands is currently provided by only one company, Jadrolinija. The railway network extends for 2,699 kilometers (1,677 miles) but does not meet the country's needs. Plans to improve the railway system do exist, but carrying them out is not considered a priority.

Tourism is one of Croatia's main sources of revenue. Transportation facilities for tourists (a developed network of roads, railroads, and airports) plays an important role in making the tourist industry efficient. Since the majority of tourists arrive in Croatia by road, construction of highways has the highest priority. In addition, the country's odd "boomerang" shape requires excellent roads in order to link its northern, central and southern areas. If all these requirements are to be met, the country must provide a more modern and extensive highway and railroad system.

Croatia's demand for electricity is mostly satisfied by domestic production, while 10 to 20 percent is covered by imports. The country produces most of its electricity from fossil fuel and hydroelectric plants. A small portion comes from the nuclear plant Krsko, which Croatia shares with neighboring Slovenia.

Telecommunications services in Croatia are modern, although they lag behind those of Western Europe and the United States. Telephone service is provided by Croatian Telecom (HT), which has invested heavily in improving telecommunications. According to the CIA World Factbook there were 1.488 million telephone lines in use in 1997 and, although some domestic lines are still analog, they are being replaced by digital technology with a capacity of 2,200,000 telephone lines. The international telephone service is completely digital, and its main switch is located in Zagreb. A project is under way to install fiber-optic cables throughout the country and connect them with Slovenia. Currently there are 220,000 kilometers of fiber-optic cables connecting 4 main Croatian cities and 35 countries.

There are approximately 200,000 Internet users in the country, and, according to CEEBInet Market Research, Croatia had 5 Internet service providers in 2000. The 2000 World Development Indicators state that, in 1995, there were 272 television sets per 1000 people and 36 television broadcast stations.

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