Utility, transport companies’ fibre network capacity to be made available this year

16 Jan 2013

The state-backed Swedish Broadband Forum (Bredbandsforum) has highlighted the involvement of a number of agencies playing an important role in the plans for realisation of government broadband strategy and the country’s Digital Agenda in 2013. In particular, the national electricity grid company Svenska Kraftnat (SVK) is lined up to begin making its dark fibre transmission capacity (colocated with the nationwide electricity network) available to telecoms operators, and the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) will likewise begin offering wholesale access to its extensive fibre broadband network. In addition, the transport operator will offer colocation in its ducting along its road network, both in existing ducts and in new construction or reconstruction of roads.

On a provincial basis, the Broadband Forum added that regional authorities, which increased their responsibility for broadband initiatives in 2012, will this year continue to help develop high speed service availability via the management of broadband funds through channels including Structural Funds and the Rural Development Programme. In addition, county administrative boards (lansstyrelserna) have been commissioned to review the implementation of the Planning and Building Act, which aims to ensure that broadband is an integral part of all construction planning, while Bredbandsforum noted as an example that the country administration in Orebro (Lansstyrelsen i Orebro) is already facilitating broadband cable ducting projects worth SEK495 million (USD76.5 million) in 2012-2014. The release also pointed out that in some parts of Sweden the larger regional authorities have taken over parts of the county administrative boards’ responsibility to work towards the goals of the government’s broadband access strategy, including promoting shared access to ducting – for instance in Halland, Skane, Vastra Gotaland, Gotland municipality and the cooperation agency in Kalmar.

Set up in 2010, the Swedish Broadband Forum is part of the government’s strategy to promote deployment of broadband throughout Sweden, and has a steering board headed by the minister of ICT. All members in the steering board are appointed by the government.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Sweden’s target of enabling 40% of households and businesses with access to 100Mbps broadband (by 2015) was achieved early – reporting 44% coverage by March 2011. In November 2009 the government set an additional target of providing broadband at speeds of at least 100Mbps to 90% of households and businesses by 2020 (to be realised via either fixed or wireless networks).