Telecom companies and the state to accelerate construction of high-speed broadband connections with new commitment
On 12 November 2020, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Finnish Federation for Communications and Teleinformatics (FiCom) and the telecommunications companies DNA, Elisa and Telia Finland made a commitment to improve broadband connections. The aim is to ensure the availability of high-quality broadband connections in the future and to strengthen Finland's position as a leader in communications connections.
In line with the commitment, the high-speed broadband connections required by modern society must be available in all of Finland, regardless of the time of day or the location.
"Finland is a frontrunner in mobile connections, and the COVID-19 pandemic has even further highlighted the importance of digital infrastructure. Now, our common goal is to ensure that we remain at the forefront of this development in the future as well. High-speed and secure communications increase the vitality of our regions and help to promote equality," says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
The availability of communications networks in Finland is at a good level. That said, when it comes to high-speed broadband connections, access can vary greatly by region or area and depending on the demand for high-speed connections. The Government Programme states that all households in Finland should have access to a connection of at least 100 megabits per second by 2025.
"It is important to make sure that the conditions for authorising and building networks are as uniform and as well-functioning as possible throughout Finland so that high-speed communications networks, which are one of the key factors in the attractiveness of regions, can be quickly expanded across the country," says FiCom Managing Director Elina Ussa.
In line with the commitment, high-speed connections are to be constructed primarily on market terms and only secondarily using public funds. The starting point is technological neutrality, which means that the development of fixed and wireless connections must be parallel. The aim of the Ministry of Transport and Communications is for funding from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) to be allocated to the construction of advanced communications connections. However, from the point of view of effective recovery, it is important to ensure that the stimulus money does not replace commercial investments and adversely affect the highly competitive communications market.
The telecommunications companies commit to developing digital infrastructure as follows:
1. For all households in Finland, in cities and sparsely populated areas, a high-speed broadband connection enabling a sufficient download and broadcast speed will be available in order to advance the extensive and equal digitalisation of society. At the same time, improvements will be made to the availability and capacity of broadband connections at holiday homes.
2. Together with the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom and the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency, the telecommunications companies will examine how communications networks should best be developed from the perspective of intelligent transport.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency and the telecommunications companies will conduct an annual review to determine their progress on achieving these objectives.
Requests to interview Minister Timo Harakka: Susanna Niinivaara, Communications Director, tel. +358 400 816 187, susanna.niinivaara(at)lvm.fi
Maija Ahokas, Director of Unit, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 40 031 6178, maija.ahokas(at)lvm.fi, Twitter @mmaija
Elina Ussa, Managing Director, FiCom, tel. +358 45 269 7711, elina.ussa(at)ficom.fi, Twitter @ElinaUssa