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More speed for broadband universal service

More speed for broadband universal service

Press release 18.03.2015 12.55 fi sv en

The Ministry of Transport and Communications proposes to have the universal service broadband speed doubled to 2Mb/s from the start of November in 2015. A long-term goal is to increase this speed to 10 Mb/s by 2021. A mid-term evaluation would be performed in 2017.

Minister of Education and Communications Krista Kiuru requested in October 2014 the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority to map the market situation of the universal service and the speeds available for citizens. The goal was to find out whether the current 1Mb/s universal service speed meets the citizens' needs.

The report shows that commonly used network connection speeds have increased due to technological development, taking new frequency bands into use and having wireless connections.

"A reasonably priced and adequately fast network connection is a basic right for every Finn, and based on the report, it can be said that there is a clear need for the ambitious increase in universal service speed", says Minister Kiuru.

While increasing the speed of universal service, attention would also be paid on its quality. An even quality of speed would be ensured by defining a minimum speed with monitoring periods of one day and four hours.

"By increasing the speed we would meet the needs of using everyday electronic services and pave the way for the spreading of services in the future. A 2 Mb/s speed is sufficient for using basic internet services, such as online bank services and reading newspapers online, without problem", Minister Kiuru says.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has sent a decree on increasing the speed of universal service broadband for comments. The deadline is 1 April 2015.

Universal service requirements for telecom operators came into effect in July in 2010. At that time, broadband connections were included in the basic communications services similarly to telephone and postal services.

Following the Information Society Code, a universal service provider will be assigned to an area if reasonably priced and high-quality broadband service cannot be otherwise ensured. A telecom operator that has been designated as a universal service provider has to be able to provide all permanent residences and business offices with reasonably priced, high-quality connection of at least 1 Mb/s.

Further information

Mr Antton Rönnholm, Special Adviser to the Minister of Education and Communications, tel. +358 29 534 2676
Ms Laura Vilkkonen, Director of Communications Networks Unit, tel. +358 29 534 2391