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Summary of broadband development in Finland
Finland's national broadband scheme supports the construction of fibre networks to areas that lack business incentives to build high speed networks. The state aid scheme is focused on backbone and access network no further than 100 metres from all permanent residences and offices. The goal is to cover 99% of the Finnish population. An auction of the 800 and 700 MHz bands was held to stimulate mobile broadband offerings with higher speeds to complement broadband fibre and cable networks.
National broadband strategy and policy
The Finnish Government opts for a competition-driven, fibre-based network roll-out, with a special focus on and assistance for underserved areas (via public funds). Especially with regard to the latter, Finnish authorities advise local municipalities on how to set up entities dedicated to deploying NGA, e.g. by joint venture of multiple municipalities or in partnership with private operators. In terms of investments, funding is expected to come from state and municipalities. Towards the Internet of Things Broadband Implementation plan was published in June 2016. A Digital infrastructure strategy was published in October 2018.
- The Ministry of Transport and Communications (Liikenne-ja viestintäministeriö) is responsible for communications and broadband policy, including legislation, guidance and supervision of the administrative sector.
- The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (Viestintävirasto, FICORA) is responsible for the implementation of the legislation and state aid scheme to fibre network construction as well as monitoring of the communications markets and publicly subsidized broadband projects.
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is the managing authority for the rural development programme of Mainland Finland and is responsible for broadband projects funded from the rural development programme.
- The Agency for Rural Affairs is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of broadband projects funded by the rural development programme.
- Regional councils, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment and municipalities are also involved in the implementation of publicly subsidised broadband projects.
Main aims and measures for broadband development
In May 2012, the Finnish Government released an updated broadband action plan, albeit without introducing major changes. Target-wise, 99% of all permanent residences and offices should be located within 2km of a fibre optic or cable network that enables connections of 100 Mbps. In areas where such networks will not be built by market players, a range of local projects are implemented to expand coverage with the necessary middle-mile segments.
The Digital infrastructure strategy, published in October 2018 by the Ministry of Transport and Communications, determines objectives for the development of the digital infrastructure in Finland by 2025 as well as the methods for achieving this objective. By 2025 all households should have access to at least 100 Mbps connections. It should be possible to increase the speed of the connection to one gigabyte per second. The entire 3.5 GHz spectrum will be taken into national use for wireless broadband from the beginning of 2019. Cost-efficient construction of optical fibre networks will be facilitated by streamlining the regulation on the placement of telecommunications cables. The permit procedure related to the placement of cables will be developed in connection with the drafting of the Highways Act.
The universal service broadband speed was doubled to 2 Mbps from the beginning of November 2015. The long-term goal is to increase the speed to 10 Mbps by 2021.
The shared construction and use of communications and electricity networks has been promoted by legislation and by setting up an information centre at Finnish Regulatory Authority (FICORA), with centralised information about existing networks, future network projects and permission procedures for laying cables. The goal is to reduce the construction costs of high-speed broadband networks by increasing the collaboration of various network operators and to promote the development of digital services and functions. The act obliges network operators and officials to provide information on future network projects. FICORA functions also as a mediator for possible disagreements. FICORA is reducing regulations and is imposing price caps on fibre local loops provided by the market leaders to lower fibre prices.
State aid is available under the Fast Broadband project to finance high-speed broadband networks. State aid covers either 58%, 44% or 33% of eligible costs. Respectively municipality share is 8%, 22% or 33%. In addition, projects may receive other public aid. Maximum public aid is 100% of eligible costs. The Fast Broadband project runs until the end of 2019. By the end of 2017 approximately EUR 49.2 million aid had been granted. The construction of circa 20 000 kilometres of fibre networks was funded and has led to around 83 000 additional households gaining access to high-speed broadband.
In addition, a limited amount of European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and state money (managed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) can be used for rural access networks (so called Village Network–projects).
Data on broadband development and technologies in Finland
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).
Spectrum assignments for wireless broadband
National and EU publications and press documents
- Towards the Internet of Things Broadband implementation plan (2016)
- National Broadband Strategy 2007
- Digital Agenda for 2011-2020
- Study on National Broadband Plans in the EU-28
- Guide to High-Speed Broadband Investment
- Study on retail broadband access prices (as of February 2015)
- Fixed broadband prices (as of February 2015)
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe (as of 2014)
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe (as of 2015)
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe (as of 2016)
- Almost every third fixed broadband subscriber in Finland has broadband at 100 Mbps or above, FICORA, March 2018
- 5G gaining momentum – Several new experiments launched in Finland to boost digitalisation, FICORA, January 2018
- Implementation of the Broadband for All 2015 project in Kainuu
- Tuottava ja uudistuva Suomi - Digitaalinen agenda vuosille 2011-2020
- National Broadband Strategy 2007