Finland mulls nationwide, fast broadband by 2016

The Finnish government will offer high-speed broadband connections to nearly all Finns by the end of 2015 in a bid to boost productivity, an AFP report said.

The report also said the government will be 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 (US$289 million), of which the government could pay a maximum of one third, so around €67 million (US$97 million),' 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, the AFP report said.

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 100Mbps to all households by 2016, but in a first step it aims to secure broadband of at least !MBps by 2010, the AFP report further said.

The Finnish communications regulatory authority (FICORA) said in June there were some 1.92 million broadband subscriptions in the Nordic country, which has a population of 5.3 million.