New support for broadband in rural areas

05/10/2010

Everyone should have access to broadband. There is now new support available for village associations and municipalities that wish to roll out broadband in rural areas where broadband is not being established by the market.

It is currently possible for village associations, other local development groups and municipalities to apply for support to roll out broadband via the Rural Area Programme and the joint laying grant (support to lay empty pipes through which fibre can then be drawn). The total amount of this support is SEK 250m. However, part of the support requires the involvement of the public and for them to bear some of the costs. Some municipalities have found this to be a problem and it has made broadband projects difficult to implement in rural areas.

Easier to start broadband projects

The Swedish Post and Telecom Agency (PTS) has received SEK 95m from the Swedish Government to stimulate the rollout of broadband in rural areas where broadband is not being established by the market. Village associations, other local development groups and municipalities can use this money just when they need this public funding to enable them to gain access to the other support of SEK 250m.

“Broadband is of great importance to the welfare of Sweden as a whole – it can be likened to the country’s circulatory system. The new support will make it easier to start broadband rollout projects in rural areas”, says Göran Marby, Director-General of PTS.

Compilation page for support at PTS.se

More information is available at www.pts.se/bredbandsstod (only in Swedish), including links to other websites where the support is described in detail. Application forms are also available from this site. An application for the new support can be made via the Rural Area Programme, which is administered by the county administrative board or the Sami Parliament, or the joint laying grant, which is administered by the county administrative board, regional associations or the Sami Parliament. Applications cannot be made directly to PTS. The processing of applications will start on 15 October, when the principle of ‘first come, first served’ will apply.

For more information, please contact:
Patrik Sandgren, project manager, 073-644 57 13
PTS's Press Office, 08-678 55 55