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Minister Kiuru at Communications Forum: Finland´s future growth is in digital services

Press release 15.02.2012 15.57
Finnish original released on 15.02.2012 15.50

According to Minister of Housing and Communications Ms Krista Kiuru, joint action should be taken with operators in the ICT field to make Finland a new centre for the cloud computing industry.

- Finland´s future economic growth is found in the production and use of digital services taking place on a much larger scale than presently. This idea can be well summarised with the words growth, innovation, digital services and evolution, Ms Kiuru said at the Communications Forum held in Helsinki on 15 February.

- After the recession of the early 1990s, Finland´s economy took a huge productivity leap fuelled by the growth of the traditional ICT industry. Now we must jump to the next level and build a digital service layer on top of the existing ICT infrastructure, the Minister said.

Ms Kiuru considers that it is precisely the development of cloud computing services that provides the most promising perspectives for Finland´s Internet economy.

Cloud computing means that software and files are on the net rather than on individual workstations. With no heavy investment and maintenance costs involved, this translates into savings for service users and opportunities for instant access to the global market for service developers.

- In this regard, Finland is faced with challenges that can only be addressed by new type of cooperation between the public and private sectors that takes place at a considerably deeper level than before, Ms Kiuru said.

Increasing the production and use of digital services requires that investments are made in research, development and innovation. Education and training need to be retargeted, opportunities for risk financing increased, and business skills enhanced. Constant efforts are needed to develop the ICT infrastructure.

According to Ms Kiuru, work should be launched immediately and with a shared vision. Concrete measures may be small-scale or large-scale, but there must be enough of them.

- The first steps include the establishment of a virtual research centre, the opening up of public sector data in practice and the creation of a test laboratory for cloud computing services, Ms Kiuru said.

Issues discussed by Minister Kiuru at the Communications Forum also included the communications policy programme for electronic media, currently under preparation, which will outline the future of television broadcasting in the antenna network.

- For me personally, it is important that current receivers can be used for viewing the broadcasts of our main channels long enough into the future - until 2026, for example, Ms Kiuru said.

The communications policy programme will also examine the current television programme licence system. Minister Kiuru welcomes action to explore whether programme licences continue to be justified in terms of freedom of speech.

Further information
Mr Kalervo Haverinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Housing and Communications, tel. +358 50 331 6914