Description / Explanation

Gotland has paved the way for the roll-out of fibre to all houses in a rural region with scattered settlements, by boosting the household interest to join the fibre and by keeping the costs low. By the end of the project, every house on the island of Gotland will have been offered connection to the fibre network. In order to make it attractive, at least 85% of permanent residents and approx. 50% of summer residents were required to join. The network itself is robust and pre-designed for future redundant connections between the local parishes: all nods should have a 4+4 hour battery back-up and an additional diesel-power generator for areas with many power cuts. The inhabitants should be offered alternative services but at least one alternative should be a 3Play connection at the best price on the Swedish market (EUR 29.9 fixed price 10 years). An alternative connection model was created for summer residents: a competitive price to be paid only during the periods they stay on the island. One of the goals of this project was to attract several major telecom actors to compete on a market of 57 700 inhabitants in the Baltic.

Project submitted by

Name
Anne Mousa Ståhl
Organisation
Region Gotland, Executive Office
Function
Coordinator Broadband and the deployment of Gotlands Digital

Infrastructure & Service

Speed / performance
≥100 Mbps
Infrastructure, technology and architecture
The project focus on building a network that is scalable, resilient, robust and builds up on the latest standards of the major telecom operators and the regulations presented by the Post and Telecom Authority. Considering the various major telecom operators, the network is connected and automatically switched to ensure that Gotland is not disconnected from the mainland. Also redundant fibre-loops are being built to ensure a robustness in the network all over the island. The minimum speed was 100/10 Mbps in 2010. in 2016, 250/100 Mbps is standard. There is no upper limit, technically.

Financing

Cost structure and financing sources
Gotland adopted a “parish-model”, where the local community is given the main role and initiative. It is supported by the broadband coordinator and aided by local entrepreneur experts and telecom actors. Each parish or group of parishes were allowed to organise their work and calculate prices as they found fit - though basic issues like quality, technical level, net-topology, legal guidance etc. The main external support for Gotland have been PTS (the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority).

Scalability

Actors involved and their roles
The Region provided the broadband coordinator responsible for the organisation, technical assistance, negotiation and net-design. Subsequently, a part-time civil servant of the county joined to support with financial and legal details. They have been visiting all networks, including the final control both financially and technically. Two excavation contractors and two net-planners were already on the island. All of them have grown considerably and are now finding opportunities on the mainland and abroad. The number of telecom providers, started with one reluctant provider, and increased to five - now fighting for market shares.
Unique characteristics
The project built a network that was not included in the national target for fibre in Sweden. They challenged the market and became a part of the fibre future.
Success factors
Creation of an umbrella organisation for the parish owned networks.

Project review

Results
On average 85-99% of the permanent and 50-99% of summer residents have joined the network. From the start it was agreed to keep costs low, as people offered land at no cost and went out and did a lot of practical work before and after the dig. Price was at EUR 5.50 per meter for excavation and the total production cost EUR 8–10 per meter.