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Summary of broadband development in Denmark
Denmark's Digital Strategy aims at 100 Mbps download and 30 Mbps upload speeds for all households and businesses by 2020.
The Danish Government has in May 2018 agreed on a new Telecom Policy (Broadband and Mobile in Digital Top Class – Telecom Policy of the Future for all of Denmark). The vision is that Denmark should have the best European rollout of digital infrastructure and the best telecommunications framework for the use of digital infrastructure.
To fulfil this vision, the telecom policy should promote:
- a market-based roll out and exploiting future technologies,
- access to the digital society for citizens and companies in whole Denmark,
- that the framework for investments in the telecommunications sector are simple, clear and predictable while barriers and burdens for private investment in the digital infrastructure are reduced, and
- well-functioning competition and active consumers who experience reasonable prices.
The central government, regions and municipalities have agreed a Digital Strategy 2016-2020 in order to accelerate the adoption of digital solutions in the public sector. The strategy sets the course for Danish public sector digitisation efforts and their interaction with businesses and industry.
The Danish Government has launched a new Strategy for Denmark's Digital Growth, consisting of 38 initiatives aiming to bring Denmark at the forefront of digital development and creating growth and wealth for all Danish people. All initiatives focus on new technologies for businesses and digital skills and competences for all Danes. A total of 134 million EUR from 2018 to 2025 and 10 million EUR onwards per year from 2018 are allocated to support these initiatives.
The Danish Energy Agency has published a 5G Action Plan for Denmark focusing on four main topics as the chief cornerstones for a successful roll-out and utilisation of 5G: frequencies, roll-out, regulation and use cases.
In January 2014 an ICT Growth Team of representatives from the ICT-sector, users of ICT and the research landscape handed over their recommendations to the Danish government. The team recommended that all Danes must swiftly have access to a fast broadband infrastructure. The Government and political parties then agreed on a Growth Plan for Digitisation in Denmark in February 2015. It emphasises full fixed and mobile broadband coverage throughout the country.
National broadband strategy and policy
- The Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate (Energi-, Forsynings- og Klimaministeriet) is responsible for Danish broadband policy development and administration. Its principal actions include the regulatory framework for the telecom sector and the setting of broadband goals, which are collectively agreed on by the Government.
- The Danish Energy Agency (Energistyrelsen) is part of the Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate and acts as the principal national regulatory authority for telecommunication in Denmark. The agency is the national broadband competence centre and its tasks include implementation of broadband policy, matters related to physical infrastructure, rights of way, radio equipment, net neutrality and spectrum management.
- The Danish Business Authority, an agency under the Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, is the independent regulatory authority in charge of market analysis and decisions and carries out tasks on internet regulation and e-privacy.
- The Danish Agency for Digitisation is an agency of the Ministry of Finance established in 2011 to speed up the digitisation processes required to modernise the Danish welfare society. The Agency is in charge of the digitisation of Denmark and is responsible for the implementation of the government's digital ambitions in the public sector.
Main aims for broadband development
The Danish Government announced its ambition in 2010, that every household and business should have access to at least 100 Mbps download. In 2013 an action plan "Better broadband and mobile coverage in Denmark" was introduced, adding an upload target of 30 Mbps by 2020. Denmark follows a technology neutral approach to reach these targets and pursues the goal of developing, ensuring and adjusting positive framework conditions for broadband development and investment.
The broadband strategy contains initiatives concerning framework conditions for operators, municipalities and regions as well as consumer-related issues. For example, coverage obligations in auctions will be fixed and more frequencies will be made available for wireless broadband. Municipalities can also expand coverage through tender processes. The Government has also changed the law allowing municipalities throughout the country to offer free broadband access, with a time limit (one hour a day) in areas of international tourism activities.
Main measures for broadband development
Several initiatives are to be taken to achieve the new Telecom Policy vision:
- Denmark ready for 5G
- Sufficient spectrum for future solutions
- More funds for the Broadband Fund
- Ambitious coverage requirements in the 700, 900 and 2300 MHz frequency auctions
- Improved mapping of broadband and mobile coverage
- Clear framework for municipal support for mobile and broadband coverage (state aid scheme)
- Simpler and cheaper access for installation of mobile towers
- Better framework for the burial of broadband infrastructure
- Common utilization of the outermost part of the broadband network
- Greater freedom of choice for broadband customers in new buildings
- Easier for consumers to switch broadband company
- Broadband mapping:
- The Danish Energy Agency monitors broadband development via the mapping tool (Tjekditnet). It is an interactive mapping of offered and technically possible speeds, available technologies and providers of subscriptions at an address level for all Danish addresses including businesses, households, public buildings and holiday homes. The mapping covers both fixed access and mobile coverage. Aggregated data on coverage at municipal or regional level is also available. The site offers a tool to measure the speed and quality of the users current connection.
- The mapping tool (Mastedatabasen) for end-users contains information on the location of current and planned antennas.
- The government plans the release of the 700 MHz band for mobile broadband from April 2020.
- Frequency auctions contain coverage requirements. For example, the 1800 MHz auction held in 2016 included a coverage requirement of 30/ 3 Mbps for 245 local areas with poor coverage.
National and regional broadband financial Instruments
Denmark’s primary focus is on the roll-out of high-speed network infrastructure based on private investments. A key role is reserved for municipalities in coordinating and promoting the process in cooperation with telecommunication operators. Public funding is reserved for areas with poor broadband coverage. Some of the current financial measures are:
State aid was introduced in 2013 for the island of Bornholm, and later in a nationwide aid measure: the Broadband Fund (Bredbåndspuljen). The Broadband Fund (2016-2019) is aimed at locals aggregating their demand to apply for financial assistance collectively. The Broadband Fund has been established by the Government and is administered by the Danish Energy Agency. The fund consists of a total of DKK 200 million (approx. EUR 40.2 million), spread over 4 years from 2016 to 2019 (DKK 40 million dedicated for 2017 and DKK 110 million in 2018). Addresses are defined as associations of households, businesses and vacation homes with low bandwidth (10/2 Mbps). One of the initiatives under the new Telecom Policy is to seek more funding for the Broadband Fund.
In January 2016, Danish authorities decided to introduce a tax deduction regulation for private households upgrading or establishing broadband access. The deduction can amount to a maximum of DKK 12 000 (EUR 1 600) per household (BoligJobordningen).
The new Strategy for Denmark's Digital Growth allocates DKK 1 bn. for initiatives running until 2025 to strengthen Danish businesses. The deposited allocation is seed capital as there also will be private funding for several of the initiatives.
One of the initiatives under the new Telecom Policy is to develop a new model for municipalities to fund roll out of digital infrastructure (state aid scheme).
Data on broadband development and technologies in Denmark
For the latest data on broadband coverage, subscriptions and penetrations, coverage of different broadband technologies and costs check the scoreboard reports and the country reports of the Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI). National data is also available at the Energy Agency’s site.
Spectrum assignments for wireless broadband
For details on harmonised spectrum assignments consult the study on Spectrum assignments in the EU.
National publications and press documents
- Strategy for Denmark's Digital Growth (2018)
- Digital Strategy 2016-2020
- 5G Action Plan for Denmark
- Study on National Broadband Plans in the EU-28
- Europe's Digital Progress Report 2017
- Guide to High-Speed Broadband Investment
- Broadband Connectivity Reports and Analyses
- Fixed broadband prices in Europe 2018
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe 2017
- Bedre bredband og mobildakning i hele Danmark
- Vækst og udvikling i hele Danmark 2015