Kiuru: Missing broadband in urban areas slow down digitalisation development
Finland must not fall into a "mobile pit"; secure fixed broadband connections must be available everywhere, emphasised Minister of Education and Communications Krista Kiuru in a conversation on 5 March 2015 as she visited the optical fibre project of a local cooperative in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki.
Building high-speed broadband connections for all citizens to use has been the goal of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Government for five years already.
Building broadband networks has been encouraged and supported but still many Finnish households and some companies do not have a broadband connection. The problem concerns not only sparsely populated areas, but many one-family house areas in large towns, too.
"Optical fibre building has not progressed constantly or in the way it was hoped in the areas that fall between dense population centres and sparsely populated areas that are supported with public funds. These often old residential areas house about 60-65% of Finns", says Minister of Education and Communications Krista Kiuru.
"It worries me to hear how many of these kinds of areas there are, even inside the densely populated "Ring I". This shows that the problem is wide-spread", says the Minister.
Minister Kiuru went to inspect the situation of such a one-family house area in Marttila-Reimarla located in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki. Residents in the area have founded a cooperative to have optical fibre built since a commercial option was not available.
"The task of public authorities is above all to create good conditions for providing communication services", answered Kiuru when a question was posed whether it could be possible to affect the availability and fairness of supply through legislation.
"Nevertheless, it is very important to create a dialogue on how to speed up the market. The matter is not merely about a few homes and residents being able to use internet TV. It is about the digitalisation development of the whole society. For example, services being moved to the internet, increasing telework and businesses operating from home all require high-speed and above all reliable telecommunications", stresses Minister Kiuru.
"A special thanks goes to people working actively with optical fibre projects who bring broadband problems to the public attention, like in Marttila-Reimarla. I urge consumers who want better data transfer connections to keep the matter going during the next government term so that a solution will be actively worked on", encourages Minister Kiuru.
Mr Antton Rönnholm, Special Adviser to the Minister of Education and Communications, tel. +358 295 34 2676
Ms Laura Vilkkonen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 29 534 2391
Publications: Advancing the construction of optical fibre network within urban areas (Publications 38/2014) (in Finnish, English abstract)