Members Corner – Norway as a gigabit society in 2025

Nelfo calls on all political parties to come together around a goal of Norway becoming a gigabit society by 2025. To be successful, we need more Internet bandwidth installed. 100 Mbit/s has been a national goal since 2013 and we are now on the verge of achieving it. Going forward this will not be enough. The new standard for citizens and businesses needs to be an Internet bandwidth of at least 1Gbps.

Policy makers, authorities, telecommunication network owners and electrical installers need to work to make it happen. The benefits are evident: increased competitiveness for Norwegian companies and industry and a more cost-effective public sector. We are talking about investing in the future.

The corona crisis has showed us the need: increased use of digital services, more use of home offices, more digitized teaching and use of digital meeting places, both in the business and culture sectors. Our reliance on digital infrastructure and services is on the rise and will still be on the rise in the aftermath of the corona crisis as well.

And what does 1 Gbps as the new norm mean? The future needs to be realized through fibre optics as the main connection to every home and building nationwide, and 5G and other wireless solutions as complementary technologies.  5G is particularly important for covering white spots of fibre or cable networks and unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communication in construction, transportation and infrastructure (sensor, control, camera, autonomous cars, etc.).

Most fibre optic broadband construction is solely market-funded and this is working very well. At the same time, our government-funded subsidy scheme is a modest, but important, contribution to providing high quality broadband to areas where broadband construction is not economically justifiable.

The liberalisation of the telecommunications sector has served us well, helping to increase competition and provide new and less expensive services. In this regard, it is important to note that greater access to fibre optic networks will increase consumer choice and further enhance competition.

Nelfo calls on all political parties to come together around the following obligations:

Take measures to realise Norway as a gigabit society in 2025. Every household and business need an Internet connection with a symmetric capacity of at least 1 Gbps.

The government must continue the subsidy for the construction of broadband networks in areas without a commercial base to a minimum of NOK 400 million per year in 2021-2025.

Ove Guttormsen

Managing Director, Nelfo

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Facts – Broadband Internet infrastructure in Norway – per 30.6.2020:

  • 74% of Norwegian households had access to internet based on fibre optic networks.
    An increase of 4 percentage points from last year.
  • 89% of households now have access to high-speed internet of 100 Mbps or more (fibre optic network or cable-TV based internet).
  • 98% have access to broadband with a speed of 30 Mbps (fibre optics. Cable-TV, xDSL og wireless).
  • 73% of all commercial buildings have access to broadband with a symmetrical speed of at least 100 Mbps. Last year, this share was 70%.
  • Norwegian telecommunication network owners invest more than NOK 12 billion/year. Electrical contractors supply telecommunication infrastructure and end-user installations and maintenance for approx. NOK 8 billion/year.
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