Finland to offer high-speed broadband for all by 2016

HELSINKI (AFP) — The Finnish government said it would offer high-speed broadband connections to nearly all Finns by the end of 2015 in a bid to boost productivity, paying up to a third of the cost.

“I have estimated that building fibreoptic cable networks in areas where they would not be built commercially will cost around 200 million euros, of which the government could pay a maximum of one third, so around 67 million euros (97 million dollars),” Harri Pursiainen, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, told AFP.

He added that telecom operators, regions, municipalities and financial support from the European Union were expected to cover the remaining two-thirds of the price tag.

Communications Minister Suvi Linden said earlier the government was committed to helping finance fibreoptic networks in remote areas but would decide later this year on specific details.

The government hopes to offer a connection speed of at least 100 megabytes per second to all households by 2016, but in a first step it aims to secure broadband of at least one megabyte per second by 2010.

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