The Swedish government has upheld a vision of a ‘completely connected Sweden’ for some time now, releasing plans back in 2009 to complete its broadband strategy by 2025. Identifying that increased globalisation, digitalisation, urbanisation and climate change are all connected to, or affected by the connected society – Sweden recognises the demand for a seamless broadband network spanning the entire country, creating a ‘world class’ competence and infrastructure.
Commissioning a fitting funding of SEK 150 million to the Board of Agriculture, Swedish Metro Network Association (SSNf) celebrated the government’s confirmation of its funding for Sweden’s rural broadband expansion. With funding established, initial plans to target places with fewer residents can be put into notion – granted, that is as long as permits are accepted.
Back in May, the Swedish government pledged to finally address its ever-prevalent broadband issues. Being a sparsely populated and elongated country, many households and enterprises have had limited to no access to broadband – which, in an increasingly connected world reliant on the internet, proves a major issue.
In an attempt to improve broadband coverage, the Swedish government presented a somewhat ambitious broadband strategy, with the vision of providing coverage for everyone residing in Sweden. The three outlined goals are:
- To provide 95% of all household and businesses with access to at least 100 Megabits by 2020
- For all of Sweden to acquire fast, high quality mobile services by 2023
- Finally, access to super-fast broadband for the country by 2025
Amending the current Swedish rural development programme for 2014-2020, the government’s proposal now supports internet expansion throughout the entirety of the country, bringing the state’s investment in broadband expansion to SEK 4.25 billion.
The rural broadband support is set to target locations where it is not commercially viable to install a network. The Swedish government will refer its proposal to the European Commission for approval before it enters force.