Traficom granted 27 million euros for the construction of fibre optic networks - with the aim of fibre optic network being available also in less populated areas
The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom granted 27 million euros of government grant for the construction of fibre optic networks during the years 2022–2023. A total of 32 million euros from the funds of the EU's recovery instrument had been set aside for the construction of fibre optic networks. Government grant was granted to 17 network builders in 11 regions and 32 municipalities.
In the broadband aid programme that started in early 2022, state aid was granted to a total of 40 broadband projects and 17 network builders. The following companies received the state aid decision of Traficom: Alajärven Puhelinosuuskunta (JAPO), BLC Infra Oy, Datasafe Oy, Ikaalisten-Parkanon Puhelin Oy (IPP), Karelnet Oy, Karjaan Puhelin Oy, KaseNet Oy, Lounea Palvelut Oy, MPY Telecom Oyj, Oulun Seudun Sähkö Kuitu Oy, Pukkikuitu Oy, Saimaan Kuitu Oy, Savon Kuituverkko Oy, Siikaverkko Osuuskunta, Sunet - Suupohjan seutuverkko Oy, VaaranValo OSK and Valokuitunen Oy.
Most of the state aid goes to Southern Savonia and Pirkanmaa
Fibre optic networks are now being built with state aid in a total of 11 regions and 32 municipalities. By province, fibre optic networks will be built in Southern Savonia, Pirkanmaa, Northern Savonia, North Ostrobothnia, North Karelia, South Karelia, South Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, Uusimaa, Päijät-Häme and Southwest Finland. The largest amount of state aid, a total of 7.3 million euros, was granted to the networks being built in Southern Savonia. The next largest amount of support was granted to the networks being built in Pirkanmaa, a total of 4.5 million.
"Comprehensive, fast and reliable telecommunications links are also a prerequisite for the vitality of sparsely populated areas and multi-location housing in Southern Savonia. However, the development of connections in these areas does not take place under market conditions, so the aid granted through the broadband aid programme has been a prerequisite for the development of connections," states Pentti Mäkinen, region mayor of Southern Savonia.
The cooperation of regional associations and municipalities has a significant impact on the start of projects. The government grant granted by Traficom is conditional on the municipalities participating in the construction costs with their share defined in the Government decree, which is either 8, 22 or 33%.
The aim is a more comprehensive fibre optic network around Finland
The EU's aim is to have gigabit speed connections for everyone by 2030. Finland is committed to achieving the goal and, for its part, promotes the construction of high-speed networks by supporting fibre optic networks in areas where they would not be built under market conditions.
Traficom granted the most aid to Ikaalisten-Parkanon Puhelin Oy (IPP), for a total of 6 projects. "One of IPP's projects is located in Vesilahti, where the fibre investment covering almost the entire municipality is IPP's largest. With the project, the number of IPP's fibre connections will increase significantly from the current situation. Without the broadband aid granted by Traficom, this fibre investment enabling IPP's first 10-gigabit connections would not have been implemented", IPP CEO Pekka Ylinikkilä celebrates.
Traficom Director-General Jarkko Saarimäki is also satisfied with the situation of the aid programme at this stage. "The first project of the aid programme has already been completed and we hope that the networks of the other projects will be built as comprehensively as possible, so that Finland's aim of gigabit connections for everyone - including in less populated areas - would be one step closer when the projects are completed," says Saarimäki.
Traficom collects information about the quality of internet connections in Finland
Traficom collects information about the availability of various internet connections from telecommunications companies and public sources. In order to more comprehensively monitor the realised speeds of the connections and their variation, the Agency launched the Bittimittari.fi service. With this, internet users can measure their own internet connection and thus also increase the understanding of how broadband works.
Traficom uses the measurement results obtained from the service in its supervision and monitoring work. The aim is to promote the availability of high-quality internet connections wherever they are needed. Transparency about the functionality of networks in different areas and at different times guides the development of broadband services in the right direction. The Bittimittari.fi service can be used by downloading the application to a smart device or at the web address www.bittimittari.fi (External link).
The broadband aid programme supports the construction of fibre optic networks in areas where they would not be built commercially. Government grant has been granted for the construction of high-speed fixed networks for more than ten years. A total of 32 million euros was reserved for the latest aid programme from the EU's recovery grant instrument. The aid had to be granted by the end of 2023.
Read more about the broadband aid programme (External link) (in Finnish)