Broadband costs set to plummet

Sweden's National Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) is hoping for cheaper broadband and more operators following a new court decision.

On Thursday the Supreme Administrative Court announced that it will not grant TeliaSonera leave to appeal the decision made by PTS on bitstream access in Sweden. As a result TeliaSonero will be required to sell broadband service to its competitors at a knockdown price.

TeliaSonera’s competitors are jubilant. And Glocalnet’s CEO Martin Tivéus considers that broadband customers who pay “hundreds of millions of kronor too much per year” should join in the celebrations.

“This affects almost half of the population of Sweden, who pay about a hundred crowns too much per month,” said Tivéus.

It is almost two years since PTS first ordered TeliaSonera to sell bitstream to its competitors. In that time TeliaSonera has appealed the decision to various instances.

But the Supreme Administrative Court’s decision not to overturn the verdict reached by the County Court, which also supported the view held by PTS, means that TeliaSonera has now reached the end of the line.

Bitstream provides access to the same copper network that is used for fixed telephony and ADSL. Through the use of bitstream Telia’s competitors can avoid expensive investments in broadband infrastructure.

Until now the development of broadband has been hampered by the fact that many telestations are too small for investment in infrastructure to be worthwhile for broadband providers.

As TeliaSonera has held a monopoly on bitstream PTS will be charge with setting prices for wholesale customers in consultation with the parties involved.

PTS expects TeliaSonero to begin applying the new procedures immediately.

“We haven’t discussed it with Telia yet. But our view is that this should be made available without delay. We intend writing to Telia to detail how we view this,” said Joanna Ledunger, marketing manager at PTS.


‘All of Sweden’ to get fast broadband by 2025

Sweden will be a completely online country in 2025, according to the government's new three-part broadband strategy.

'All of Sweden' to get fast broadband by 2025
Housing and Digitalisation Minister Peter Eriksson. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has also promised that over half a million more Swedes will gain access to fast broadband Internet over the next four years.
The plan aims specifically to provide 100 Mbps broadband by 2020, an investment the government hopes will create better living and working conditions for people all over the country.
“We can not continue with a strategy that leaves people out,” said digitalisation minister Peter Eriksson, according to news agency TT.
“I think that this is a rather important day,” Eriksson said as the government presented its new broadband strategy at Rosenbad in Stockholm.
According to Eriksson, three quarters of the population currently has access to fast broadband.
“It is unacceptable that not everyone is included,” said the minister.
The targets presented by the government can be separated into three steps.
In 2020, 95 per cent of all households will have access to broadband of at least 100 Mbps. 
In 2023, all of Sweden will be connected to stable mobile services of high quality. Connections will, according to the government, be good enough for users to go online entirely without limitations such as interruptions or lack of capacity. This will apply anywhere people or businesses can be found, such as in holiday homes, recreational areas, and on roads and rail routes.
By 2025, the whole of Sweden will have access to fast broadband.
“We have beaten our current targets and our new target is for all of Sweden to be connected by 2025,” said Eriksson.
Research has shown that, in addition to helping with everyday tasks such as using chat services, watching television and surfing the Web, the implementation of fast broadband can lead to overall savings. Municipal services will, for example, be able to save millions by replacing physical visits with video conversations.