High-speed transfers for every
High-speed data transfer connections available to every Finn in 2005 - a working group
proposes to promote competition and service and content provision, public funding only on
Finland should try to reach one million broadband subscriptions by the end of 2005.
By then everyone will have an opportunity to a high-speed, easy-access and reasonably
priced data transfer connection.
A working group of the Finnish Ministry
of Transport and Communications that has been preparing a broadband strategy, found fifty
action points to expand broadband coverage as presented in the Government programme. The
broad-based group presented its unanimous report to Ms Leena Luhtanen, Minister of
Transport and Communications on 3 December 2003.
According to the working group, it is not
possible to establish fixed broadband connections at reasonable costs in the remotest
areas. Altogether 2-5 per cent of households with telephones are located in such places.
These households could be provided with access through satellite services or digital
The proposal is based on the fact that
broadband connections will mainly be acquired on commercial terms. Therefore, the
financing would mostly be market-based. However, in areas with no commercial access
provision, special government action and, to some extent, public money will be needed.
The government share would be allocated
within the present spending limits. Funding could be provided to, for example, small
schools and libraries as well as service points. Municipalities and European Union
Structural Funds are assumed to partially meet the costs.
The working group proposes several action
points that would promote competition and accelerate the introduction of technologies. The
proposal links up the wider broadband coverage to the provision of services and contents:
there must be many opportunities to use public services on the Internet to generate users'
interest. Ensured information security and protection of privacy build their trust in
electronic services. It is also important to provide citizens and SMEs with guidance and
support in the use of the services.
The Finnish Government will discuss the
proposal in January 2004.
For further information, please contact:
Mr Harri Pursiainen, Director-General, Chair of the working group, tel. +358 9 160 28389,
+358 500 787 742
Mr Tatu Tuominen, Senior Research Officer, Secretary of the working group, tel. +358 9 160
+358 50 341 7607