Not quite on the broadband highway / News / The Foreigner

Not quite on the broadband highway. Incomplete coverage and high prices blamed. According to NA24.no, a recent survey carried out by the Norwegian Central Statistics Bureau (SSB) showed that almost 70 percent of households have a broadband connection. But even though the capacity for much higher speeds is already available, the average download speed is only 5Mbit/s, The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority says that “half” of Norway has access to extremely good broadband – with speeds of 25Mbit/s – but very few use it.

broadband, norway, behind, slow, expensive, mobile, telenor, netcom



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Not quite on the broadband highway

Published on Thursday, 26th March, 2009 at 23:41 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 19th June 2009 at 00:24.

Incomplete coverage and high prices blamed.

Ethernet connection
Ethernet connection
Photo: carroteater/Shutterstock photos


Plodding their way to speed

According to NA24.no, a recent survey carried out by the Norwegian Central Statistics Bureau (SSB) showed that almost 70 percent of households have a broadband connection. But even though the capacity for much higher speeds is already available, the average download speed is only 5Mbit/s,

The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority says that “half” of Norway has access to extremely good broadband – with speeds of 25Mbit/s – but very few use it.

“It’s both surprising and disappointing”, aftenposten.no reports the Authority’s director, Willy Jensen as saying.

Over the hills and far away

Jensen says that part of the reason for people choosing the lower speeds is that they seem to manage without the highest speeds for now, and it’s also a matter of cost. Telenor blames the high prices on the terrain.

“The peculiar Norwegian topography makes the communication costs higher in Norway than in a flat country such as Denmark”, says Aril Meling, head of information in Telenor to the Norwegian Consumer Council.

High prices for mobile broadband too

And for mobile broadband, it costs three times as much here as it does in the rest of Scandinavia, according to the Council.

Telenor doesn’t charge their customers as much in Denmark as they do here, and neither are they high with Swedish Tele2.

“The reason that we have higher prices in Norway is that Tele2 doesn’t have its own network here. This means that we have to rent network capacity from Netcom or Telenor. Their wholesale prices don’t give us the possibility to charge less than we do already”, Tele2’s Norwegian managing director Haakon Dyrnes tells the Council. This will change in the future, because the company is currently building its own network.

Netcom gives a different reason.

“The Norwegian market is still quite young. Sweden is a long way ahead in terms of mobile broadband, something which affects the price-structure. The Swedish market is larger, and the competition tougher, which also has an effect on the prices”, says Netcom’s head of information, Øyvind Vederhus.

The Council’s report concludes by saying that the telecommunication companies used similar arguments in relation to the prices on phone-calls, until competition brought these down.

The way ahead

The government wants Norway to have full broadband coverage. Since 2006, it has granted 836 million kroner, and a further 83 million is to be awarded to the regional councils to achieve this.

“Building out the broadband network is an important part of our promise to the districts, and we are committed to stimulating this, particularly in areas where it is not commercially-viable”, the minister for local government Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa of the Central Party (Sp), told the Norwegian Telegram Bureau (NTB).

Most of the 70 percent that have broadband live in developed areas, with the regions of Oslo, Akershus, Hordaland, Rogaland, and south Trøndelag having the highest number.




Published on Thursday, 26th March, 2009 at 23:41 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 19th June 2009 at 00:24.

This post has the following tags: broadband, norway, behind, slow, expensive, mobile, telenor, netcom.





  
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