The Post and Telecom Agency of Sweden (Post & Telestyrelsen, PTS) says investments in fixed broadband infrastructure are declining, despite the state offering support for network rollouts in rural areas. The regulator has announced that total investments in fixed and mobile broadband networks declined by 5% in 2020 to SEK10.87 billion (USD1.32 billion), from SEK11.48 billion in 2019. While spending in mobile networks rose by 4% to SEK1.69 billion, investment in fixed infrastructure dropped by 7% to SEK9.18 billion. PTS estimates that total investments are likely to decline further in the coming years, though the state funding will dampen the decrease.
The regulator has found that around half of all households in Sweden which lack connection speeds of 100Mbps or over are in the vicinity of a high speed fibre network. It adds that the cost of providing last mile fibre access varies greatly between areas, meaning that wireless rather than fixed technologies could be the most cost-effective solution for many buildings.
In April this year PTS said it was preparing to offer SEK1.6 billion of funding for fibre network expansion in underserved localities in three regions. Subsidies will be available in Norrland, Svealand and Gotaland, but only for areas where there are no plans by telcos for a commercial broadband network rollout.