The Government is setting aside a NOK 50 million budget to maintain broadband access in Norway, while Telenor phases out the copper network
‘’There has been a fantastic development in the broadband service over the past five years, where one million more have received high-speed networks. In addition, we have the world’s fastest mobile network, and almost 100% of the population have access to 4G” said Digitalization Minister Nikolai Astrup of Høyre (H) to NTB news.
‘’But if we are to succeed in reaping the benefits of the digital revolution, everyone must be online. Then we must also invest where it is not commercially profitable to develop’’ he continued.
In total, the Government proposes a broadband subsidy of approximately NOK 250 million in 2019, NOK 100 million more than last year.
The extra NOK 50 million will go to broadband development where it is not profitable today to develop it and to connect households and businesses that will be affected by Telenor’s liquidation of the copper network.
Earlier this year, Telenor sent notice to more than 100,000 households that from the 1st of May they would stop maintenance and error correction of the copper network.
The reason is that the copper network must be replaced with fibre and mobile networks.
Most people in the country during this period will be able to make use of the 4G network as a replacement if the copper network becomes disfunctional, but for some 1,000 households this was not an alternative. They thus risked becoming completely without internet access.
Astrup now gives assurance that this scenario will not become a reality. The reason is that Telenor has turned around.
‘’They have now stated that they will continue to fix the copper network in the areas of the country where there are no satisfactory alternatives, and I am glad about that’’ said the Minister of Digitalization.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today