Shared use of infrastructure in communications network construction: significant savings possible in Finland

According to a report by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, telecommunications operators utilise each other's infrastructure, in particular, in the construction of communications networks. The leasing of infrastructure could be increased between telecom operators.

Shared use of infrastructure in communications network construction: significant savings possible in Finland

Press release by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Transport and Communications Agency Traficom

According to a report by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Transport and Communications Agency Traficom, telecommunications operators utilise each other's infrastructure, in particular, in the construction of communications networks. The leasing of infrastructure could be increased between telecom operators.

In addition, the civil engineering infrastructure could be used more and more in the construction of communications networks. The use of the existing infrastructure would reduce the slow excavation and permit processes and promote the construction of broadband in Finland.

“It is great that steps are being taken to share the use of the infrastructure. Unnecessary street work causes not only unnecessary costs but also harm to residents. Hopefully, the opportunities raised in the report will be widely exploited,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

The study showed that the telecom operators mainly share cable conduits, distribution wells, equipment facilities and other passive infrastructure. The municipalities, water supply facilities and operators in the energy sector also have such passive infrastructure but its sharing and leasing are limited so far.

“I encourage to increase cooperation in order to streamline shared use and shared construction. Use of the existing infrastructure in the construction of communications networks will bring savings to all infrastructure operators,” says Director-General Kirsi Karlamaa from the Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.

The challenges in the shared use include availability of information on the infrastructure that could be shared, location of the infrastructure, too high a price for the lease and missing practices. Passive infrastructure means physical structures that can be used in the construction of communications networks, for example underground prefabricated pipes, cable mines, equipment facilities, towers, masts and poles.

The study on the use of passive infrastructure is part of the implementation of the Digital Infrastructure Strategy published by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. According to the Strategy, more efficient use of the passive infrastructure would promote the emergence of network com-petition in the broadband market.

The final report presents measures to facilitate the shared use and to reduce investment costs. In Finland, an increase in the shared use of the network infrastructure could result in significant savings. 


Publications by Traficom 12/2020: Study on the current situation and development needs for the shared use of passive infrastructure - Final report (in Finnish) (External link)

Publications by the Ministry of Transport and Communications 10/2018: Turning Finland into the world leader in communications networks – Digital infrastructure strategy 2025 (External link)

Inquiries

Katariina Vuorela, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Transport and Communications, tel. +358 295 34 2029, katariina.vuorela(at)lvm.fi, Twitter @vuorelakata

Päivi Peltola-Ojala, Chief Specialist, Transport and Communications Agency TrafiCom, tel. +358 29 539 0539, paivi.peltola-ojala(at)traficom.fi, Twitter @PeltolaOjala