null Minister Harakka: Communications network capacity adequate even in exceptional situations

Minister Harakka: Communications network capacity adequate even in exceptional situations

Press release 27.03.2020 14.04 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka (Photo: Laura Kotila/Prime Minister's Office)

Most of our society’s activities are currently built on communications networks. It is vital that they remain functional also in crises.

“Finland’s active communications policy that has been in place already for decades contributes to ensuring the adequacy of the networks and their capacity also in these very exceptional circumstances,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

In Finland’s communications networks, daily voice and data traffic has increased significantly; according to information received from telecom operators by about 10-30%. The networks have worked very well under the strain. 

“The communications networks have been constructed to serve the needs of users and we will ensure that they will remain functional now and in the future,” says Minister Harakka.

In addition to the high capacity of our communications networks, the cybersecurity situation of our networks is good.

When working from home, it is important to follow the instructions of your employer or educational institution to ensure you are working securely,” Minister Harakka says.

Public transport services continue even during restrictions on movement

Through its measures the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications supports other authorities in the implementation of the movement restrictions.

“Public transport will not stop running even due to the corona situation. It is vital that transport services, including public transport, are functional under all circumstances. The aim is to provide the necessary services in commuting and service transport and to ensure service in all geographical areas,” says Minister Harakka.

“However, the use of public transport services has already decreased and will continue to do so. For this reason, the frequency at which the services are provided may be lower than normally,” he says.

Continuity of goods traffic is vital

“In terms of security of supply and the economy, it is important that goods transport remains as normal as possible,” says Minister Harakka.

Traffic restrictions at Finland’s external borders and the borders between the region of Uusimaa and other regions do not apply to goods traffic or its personnel or necessary traffic of workers in other fields of the transport sector.

“In this exceptional situation, opportunities to increase flexibility must be assessed, for example by providing for necessary exemptions to the current legislation.”

On the proposal of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Government issued on 26 March 2020 a decree on exemptions to driving times and rest periods, which partly safeguards the continuity of goods, bus and coach traffic in the prevailing conditions.

By means of traffic control, for example, the police will ensure that goods and public transport flows as smoothly as possible.

Transport operators need support

Minister Harakka is concerned about the situation of transport operators.

“Operators need financial support to overcome the crisis and the Government has prepared an extensive package to support them,” says Minister Harakka.

“I would like to thank the National Emergency Supply Agency for the support measures taken that aim to ensure the goods flows, which are particularly important for the security of supply, from Finland to Sweden and the Baltic States and from there to Central Europe.

Inquiries:

Matti Sadeniemi, Special Adviser, tel. +358 40 586 7234