The Finnish government has announced plans to offer high speed broadband connections to nearly the entire nation by the end of 2015, with the government planning to fund up to a third of the total investment needed. Harri Pursiainen, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, said, ‘I have estimated that building fibre-optic cable networks in areas where they would not be built commercially will cost around EUR200 million (USD289 million), of which the government could pay a maximum of one third, so around EUR67 million.’ The remaining costs are expected to be covered by operators, municipalities and financial support from the European Union. While the government is planning to offer speeds of 100Mbps to all households by 2016, it will initially aim to ensure all households can obtain access speeds of 1Mbps by 2010. Figures from the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) for June 2008 reported 1.92 million broadband subscribers in the country, out of a population of 5.3 million.
Hot on the heels of the government announcement, Finnish broadband provider Welho has announced that it has launched a 110Mbps broadband services for customers in Helsinki; approximately 320,000 homes will have access to the new speeds, with prices starting at EUR54.90 (USD79.45) per month. The high speeds have been achieved following the introduction of DOCSIS3.0 technology to Welho’s cable network. ‘EuroDocsis 3.0 enables us to utilise the wide bandwidth and other technical advantages of cable. As cable technology now allows bandwidths in excess of 100Mbps, we are looking forward to offering speeds exceeding 200Mbps within a few years,’ said Johan Flykt, president of Welho.