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In recent years, Vehicular Ad-hoc NETworks (VANETs) have experienced an intense development, driven by academia, industry, and public authorities. On the basis of this, it is reasonable to expect that VANETs will finally hit the market in the near future. In order to reach commercial success, VANETs must effectively operate also during the first years of deployment, when the market penetration rate will be unavoidably low and, consequently, only a small number of suitably equipped vehicles (VANET-enabled) will be present in the roads. Among the possible strategies to face the initial sparse VANET scenarios, the deployment of an auxiliary network constituted by fixed Road Side Units (RSUs), either Dissemination Points (DPs) or relays, is certainly a promising one. In order to maximize the benefits offered by this support infrastructure, the placement of RSUs needs to be carefully studied. In this work, we analyze, by means of numerical simulations, the performance of an application that leverages on a finite number of DPs for disseminating information to the transiting vehicles. The positions of the DPs are determined through a recently proposed family of optimal placement algorithms, on the basis of properly generated (through simulations) vehicular mobility traces. The analysis is carried out considering two realistic urban scenarios. In both cases, the performance improvement brought by the use of multi-hop broadcast protocols, with respect to classical single-hop communications with DPs, is investigated.