Broadband network finished in Västmanland County

Ninety-nine percent of all the households in Västmanland County now have access to broadband service. The majority of the residents in the county can now get broadband with speeds up to 8 Mbit/s. Västmanland is the third county in Sweden to inaugurate a region-wide broadband network that links all 11 municipalities in the county.

In December 2003, the majority of the municipalities in Västmanland jointly procured a broadband network through the Västmanland Association of Local Authorities (Västmanlands Kommunförbund). The objective was to create an open network, with the widest possible coverage, through which households and companies would have access to broadband services from a number of providers in the municipalities of Arboga, Fagersta, Hallstahammar, Heby, Kungsör, Köping, Norberg, Sala, Skinnskatteberg and Surahammar.

The build-out is now finished and all municipalities in Västmanland, including Västerås, are now interconnected in a network providing high transmission speeds. The network was officially inaugurated at a ceremony at the Sätra Brunn spa on Friday, December 10, in the presence of municipal commissioners and other municipal managers from the 11 municipalities, county governor Mats Svegfors, and representatives from the Västmanland business community. The inauguration was webcast with video and audio over the Internet.

“It is extremely important that all municipalities and communities in the county have the possibility to get broadband service. It is a tremendous advantage for enterprises and newly established businesses, but also for municipal services, to be able to leverage the benefits of modern technology. We are very satisfied that we have come so far in our technical development today,” says Åke Hillman, chairman of the Västmanland Association of Local Authorities.

The broadband network covers 99 percent of the households and companies in the region. In ten of the 11 municipalities, the network is based on TeliaSonera’s Skanova IP City solution, which utilizes the existing telephone network in combination with a newly built fibre optic network. All telecom switching centres in the municipalities of Arboga, Fagersta, Hallstahammar, Heby, Kungsör, Köping, Norberg, Sala, Skinnskatteberg and Surahammar have also been upgraded for ADSL, which allows a very high broadband penetration rate, even in sparsely populated areas.

Depending on their choice of broadband provider, households and companies located within a link distance of 3.5 km from a switching centre will have broadband with speeds up to 8 Mbit/s. Those located within a link distance of 9 km can have broadband with speeds of at least 500 Kbit/s. Customers are free to choose one of the operators that provide broadband services to consumers and companies through the network.

“Västmanland is the third county in Sweden to procure a broadband solution covering all municipalities in the region. Through ADSL technology, we have been able to offer the county a fast and cost-effective broadband build-out with a very high penetration rate, even in rural areas,” says Susanne Jacobsson, head of TeliaSonera Network Sales.