Swedish government promises superfast broadband to all

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[Sweden] The Swedish government is following in the footsteps of the Finns (well almost), as their IT-ministry is now promising that 90 percent of all Swedish homes will have access to a 100 mbit/s broadband connection before 2020.

According to Swedish IT-minister Åsa Torstensson it isn’t possible to function in the information society of today without a fast internet connection. You hear that? This is the information society, people!

The Swedish government is therefore launching a new broadbrand strategy, according to which there needs to be a set minimum level of broadband speed.

Today that minimum level is 20 kbit/s, which clearly isn’t anywhere near enough if you’re going to download lots and lots of movies.

Sweden is one of the more well connected countries in Europe and about 89 percent of the population have internet in their homes.

[Photo credit]

  • James

    Why can’t the US government offer the same deal to its citizens?

    • Phreddy Tran

      Seriously. We’re the land of the free, damn it! How can we let a socialist country show us up?!

      Oh yeah, I forgot: AT&T, Comcast, Time-Warner, Verizon, etc. My country tis of thee, sweet land of oligopoly…

    • Richardhg

      The US Government cannot compete with free enterprise because this is the basis of American Free Market Capitalism, and what distinguishes the US brand of capitalism from, say, the Chinese version, of State Capitalism.

      The problems with State Capitalism (better known as Communism) is that the planners did not realize that there must be personal incentive along with market demand for the system to thrive.

      Accordingly, China has fixed it’s problems, and is about to pass up the US, which is disappearing under the waves of corporate opportunism and monopolistic/oligopolistic behavior. Companies maximize their profits by offering the least service at the highest price, and creating barriers to new competition entering the market.

      Europe has long had Government ownership of major utilities, such as the phone and power companies. Anything that improves productivity improves the tax take, so they are highly incented to improve public health, and services that expedite their people to make more money.

      • http://phillyjazz.org Jan Klincewicz

        That was a very astute comment. And thanks for the correct use of “incented” where most people use the commonly-made-up term “incentivized” .

  • mike

    yeah, cause european style socialism sucks soooooo bad :rolleyes:

    • Miller

      you’re being sarcastic but 10 years is a long time… especially in terms of technology. This is exactly why socialism doesn’t work: a government cannot accurately forecast the demand of its people.

      • Marc

        I always get a laugh out of how Sweden gets labeled socialist by my fellow Americans. Sweden has a robust social net, but the economy is free, open and market oriented. So call it what you want, but they have robust economic growth that is comparable to the US over the long term and they don’t have all the social problems we have. No it’s not perfect, but I’d say the average Swede has a higher standard of livng than the average American. I know because go there all the time.

      • Danno

        I’d give my left nut to have this kind of “socialism” in the USA…

        And AT&T can go $%%(*&$%@

      • Johan

        People in the US might think this is great, however it’s too little too slow. A lot of people already have 100Mbit. I do, and it costs me $20 a month. However, in a nearby city of mine people already can get 1 Gbit. So, 100 Mbit in 10 years.. nah, it’s a bit weak.

  • http://startupers.com milton hasselbury

    The King of Sweden has formed a conspiracy with former president Bill Clinton to suppress media attention away from StartUpers.com. They also will censure StartUpers from reaching any and all Swedish IPs. Do not support Sweden.

    • Jean-Michel Decombe

      Nice site. Love the funky font and monochrome look.

    • http://www.phillyjazz.org Jan

      Hey .. if I am not mistaken they BOTH play saxophone !!!

  • Paul

    You americans get things super early compared to europe, you’ll already have super fast internet by then! (im uk, and thats sucky)

  • Dr Gordini

    OK, this is a promise they gave in parallel with a declaration that there will be no government money to make it a reality. It is just an empty, political promise, worth absolutely nothing. And despite this ridiculous empty promise, they didn’t make it competitive with our Finnish neighbors.

    So it sucks.

    • Momar Jahihti

      Hi there good doctor.

      Did you write that while taking a break from open heart surgery?

  • The Riddler

    The problem is size. Companies have to cover much more territory than Norway.

    • The Riddler

      Excuse me Finland and Sweden.

      • Tomas

        err those countries have one of the lowest person/M2.

      • Paul

        Yes, but only for the 10% of people not covered by that declaration.

        As with Australia, residents are heavily concentrated in a few cities.

  • Tomas

    in 2020 are 100mbits not that spectacular if you extrapolate bandwidth growth from the last 10 years.
    Of course such a promise shows that you’re indeed an IT friendly country ;)

  • The flip side

    Why do governments push connectivity so much?

    Because it’s so much cheaper and easier to track citizens once they only communicate and “live” online.

  • http://phillyjazz.org Jan Klincewicz

    Most of the classic Bergman films are in black and white, anyway … What do they need with all that bandwidth ?

    • Momar Jahihti

      However, most porn vids, classic and non-classic, require more bandwidth.

  • If it just wasn't for the damn polarbears

    Stockholm, Sweden here and I’ve been on 100/10 mbit fiber for 5 years. 1 gigabit is just a switch away, but my vpn (around 20-30 % of Internet users have started using them since the stricter IP laws from a year ago) can only do 50/8 atm so I don’t really care. Getting 100 mbit to 90 % is more about the rural areas, and for that we need G4/G5.

    And Gordini is correct. It’s bull, but bull that might become true without any gov involvement, thanks to some actual competition among telecompanies and ISPs. BW here is still pretty cheap though. I pay 23 euro/month for unlimited and uncapped (I do around 700 GB/month traffic) 100/10. Plus another 4.6 euro/month for unlimited and anonymous VPN.

  • Yeah right

    I can’t function without a steak dinner every night.

    Where’s the government-supplied free food? Why am I paying for water? How come I have a mortgage.

    Socialism at work. Government pay-offs to industry.

    Good luck with that, comrades!

    • JK

      Your Steak is covered indirectly via subsidies made to the Corn Lobby.

      Your water is also indirectly subsidized via federal grants for water reservoirs etc..

      I also seem to remember something of a recent Mortgage bailout in the US (a couple of trillion or something).

  • Niklas

    I also live in Sweden and I have 100/100mbit uncapped… I pay around 30€ per month for it.

    Really nice!

  • will

    its just bribery, arent we nice we will buy you fast broadband with your own money.

    what on earth are you going to need a 100mbit connection for? downloading a car?

    is waiting 10 minutes download load a computer game with a 2 meg connection such a violation of our human bloody rights?

    the world is mad.

    • If it just wasn't for the damn polarbears

      Hey, will. Private companies and competition among them have built up our superior IT-infrastructure. The politician in question in this article is just pandering to stupid people (we have an election next year). Our socialist democratic system manage to both foster competition and provide crucial (according to me and most swedes) social services such as free health care, free university, libraries, etc. Last time I checked you guys had 50 million uninsured people while still getting pissed on daily by comcast/enron/et al.

  • http://mw2talk.com/ TheIconGuy

    I wish America was a socialist Country…

    • http://phillyjazz.org Jan Klincewicz

      Obviously you don’t watch FOX news .

  • http://blog.ziggytek.com/2009/11/03/sweden-promises-its-citizens-superspeed-broadband-america-still-lagging-on-that-promise/ Sweden Promises Its Citizens Superspeed Broadband, America Still Lagging On That Promise » ZiggyTek » Blog

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  • http://arabist.net/arabawy/2009/11/04/superfast-broadband-to-all/ Superfast broadband to all at 3arabawy

    […] envy the Swedes, Finns, and Swiss. It’s a pity Nazif’s “e-government” can’t follow […]

  • http://angadsingh.in Angad Singh

    You guys crib about 100 mbit vs 20 mbit. Back here in India, 1 Mbps is like heaven ! That too doesn’t always give you a full 1 Mbit all the time ! And India has the third largest number of internet users (roughly 45 million after USA at 307m and China leading at 338m). And we supposedly have one of the fastest growing IT industries in the world.

  • Jack

    Broadband Internet has been a priority in Sweden for a long time.This strategy has already (amongst other things) generated services like Spotify, Skype and of course The Pirate Bay, and there is probably plenty more to come. 20% of swedish teenage girls have a blog and they are also the ones making the most money from blogging in Sweden. But of course, in order to stay competitive, we need to improve or Internet infrastructure even more, so this new vision is clearly a good thing.

    Sweden, Finland and Norway have pretty advanced internet users, and that trend will probably spread to the rest of Europe (just look at the latest development in the UK). And thats important since the main part of future innovation probably has to happen in Europe. US started the Internet-thing but it´s hardly equipped to take it much further;the broadband is too slow and capped, too much invasion and threat from RIAA and others ,average US internet users are not particularly advanced etc. In order for Internet to evolve Europe has to step up its game. This 100mbit broadband vision thing may be one way get the ball rolling.

  • Allen

    So was it 100 Megabytes broadband or 100 millibits a second broadband?

    I know you Americans use the old imperial system, and perhaps can be forgiven for not understanding more modern measuring systems, but this came out of techcrunch Europe…

    • http://angadsingh.in Angad Singh

      It’s 100 Mega bits per second. Mbps = Mega bits/s and MBps = Mega Bytes/s. Standard convention. Unrelated to european/american measuring systems.

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  • http://www.unpocogeek.com/2009/11/03/el-gobierno-sueco-promete-a-sus-ciudadanos-internet-de-20mb-para-el-2020/ El gobierno sueco promete a sus ciudadanos Internet de 20MB para el 2020 | Un Poco Geek

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  • http://softwareandquality.blogspot.com John

    Wow ! i really wish we had this here. Even an MBps is luxury around where i live. Congratulations to all the Swedes out there !

    – John

  • Victor

    A sharing from Hong Kong, I’ve a 100Mbit up/down uncapped link for around USD$20 a month.

    No offense but IMHO, 100 Mbit is a ‘today’ standard, several wireless standard already surpass that speed, for a 10 years plan, why not think bigger?

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