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Broadband access into use in public authority communication services

Broadband access into use in public authority communication services

Press release 17.01.2019 13.30 fi sv en

(Photo: Shutterstock / Jarhe Photography)

In communication services by the public authorities, broadband access will gradually be taken into use.  The old network, Finland's Authority Radio Network, will operate alongside the new system until the broadband service is ready and has been taken into use in full.

In future, public authority communication services will be provided by the State Security Networks Ltd. It will arrange a competitive tendering for the network operator among the commercial telecom operators.  The network of the successful tenderer will be expanded and strengthened to meet the needs of communications by the authorities. Reinforcing the network would also increase the opportunities of people and businesses to use digital services across a wider geographical area.

The Government adopted acts amending the Act on Electronic Communication Services and the Act on the Provision of Shared Government Information and Communications Technology Services on Thursday, 17 January 2019. The President of the Republic is expected to approve the bills on 18 January 2019, and they are to enter into force on 1 February 2019.

The new public authority communication services enable broadband communication, for example transfer of video image, and so improve the accuracy of situation awareness and the authorities’ response to accidents and incidents.

The amendments will ensure the access and high quality of the service for the authorities also in cases of network backlogs as the authorities’ access is given priority over other users. The subscriptions of the authorities will also have access to other networks, if the primary network selected through the tendering process is not available. The impacts of the priorities included in the authorities’ subscriptions on the quality of the communication services for the average user would be only temporary and limited to a certain region. 

The current authority network that covers nearly the entire country and has around 40,000 users has been in place since 2002. The users include the rescue services, police, Finnish Defence Forces, Finnish Border Guard, Finnish Customs, social welfare and health, ministries and other operators responsible for safety and security of government and local authorities. The new broadband-based service for authority communications will be targeted at the same user groups. 

Inquiries:
Antti-Jussi Lankinen, Senior Specialist, tel. + 358 40 545 0901