“Welcoming Sunne to the Network of the Future” is one of the five winners of the European Broadband Awards 2018. The project replaced the old copper network with fibre and mobile networks in Sunne municipality. As a result, Sunne provides modern communication infrastructure to all local inhabitants with the possibility to get download speeds of up to 1 Gbps. This project is an excellent example of investment in a future proof infrastructure.

Photo of Sunne municipality

To combat digital exclusion, the 12-year-olds taught older people how to access the digital world.

Investment in a future proof infrastructure

Sunne is a rural municipality in west Sweden with sparsely distributed households. The municipality and Telia collaborate in order to digitalise the area and equip Sunne with a future proof digital infrastructure. The old copper network is fully replaced with fibre and mobile networks. The digital infrastructure in Sunne is ready for the ever-increasing demand for speed and capacity. More importantly, it provides opportunities for people and businesses to grow.

The project made use of the different types of pre-existing infrastructures in Sunne, including privately owned ducts with Telia-operated fibres, Telia-owned ducts and fibres, and municipality-owned ducts with Telia fibres. Where applicable, planned water and sewer works have been used for co-trenching. Telia have been reusing local offices from the copper network as well as mobile offices where applicable. Trenching to new industrial areas are co-planned with water, sewer and electricity works. Fibre internet services are brought to customers via an open portal with several service providers from which they can choose the most suitable for them.

Besides the infrastructure, the municipality and Telia launched an educational initiative “More Digital”, - as a key part of helping seniors take their first steps to become digitally literate.

Many older people in Sweden live their lives completely offline. This is a huge challenge for Swedish society as a whole, as more and more welfare services are expected to be digital in the very near future. The project addressed this challenge by a community training concept in which 12-year-olds taught older people how to become “More Digital”. These activities combat digital exclusion and ensure that everyone – young and old - can take advantage of the opportunities and benefits that digitalisation brings.

What was achieved?

Since 2011, when Telia and Sunne started working together to advance the fibre roll-out in the municipality, the percentage of households connected with fibre will have increased from 0.5% to 76.8% by late 2018. There are 0% copper customers as from January 2019, and 100% of customers adapted to modern solutions (FTTH/LTE) through Telia or another operator.

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