Skanova connects coastal municipalities of Bohus County

Skanova has launched the first phase of a project to provide Internet access via broadband to areas of Bohus County on the west coast of Sweden. As of July 1 this year, the majority of residents in the municipalities of Stenungsund, Tjörn and Orust will be able to surf rapidly on the Web thanks to Skanova´s core network infrastructure. Before the end of October, approximately 90 percent of the people living in the three municipalities will have access to broadband.
On Wednesday, June 25, a ceremony was held at the municipal office in Stenungsund, where representatives from the three municipalities and Skanova presented information about the build-out of the broadband network in the region. Bo Pettersson, chairman of the Stenungsund Municipal Executive Board, described the new potential of broadband for the municipality´s residents: "Broadband gives small companies and households faster and more reliable services, which naturally benefits the municipality as a whole." In March this year, the three municipalities in Bohus County signed an agreement with Skanova for the provision of a core network infrastructure that could also connect sparsely populated areas of the county. This combination fibre-ADSL network also provides good coverage in the archipelago region off Sweden´s west coast. Close to 90 percent of the residents in Stenungsund, and on the islands of Tjörn and Orust, will be able to use the new network, of which most of them already as of Tuesday. "We listened to business owners and consumers in the municipality and we all agreed that we would jump on the broadband bandwagon. We look forward to benefiting from this technological development since we believe it will be very beneficial for the region. Broadband links us even more closely with the rest of Sweden," says Roger Hansson, chairman of the Executive Board on the island of Orust. Eva Bertilsson-Styvén, municipal chairman for the island of Tjörn, agrees: "It´s important that we can offer modern information and communications technology to residents and businesses. It increases the attractiveness of our municipality and makes it a more interesting place for doing business and telecommuting. Modern technology is also a way to reduce commuting by car and helps improve the environment." Up to the summer of 2002 it was not possible for Swedish municipalities to apply for government assistance to build out broadband networks based on ADSL technology. Now that the regulations have been changed, all of Sweden´s municipalities can gain access to broadband through a network that is installed parallel to their existing municipal core network, which can also be used to the benefit of residents and businesses in the area. "With the agreement with the municipalities, broadband will become quickly accessible to most people in the region, even those living along the coast. We are utilising a large part of existing infrastructure, which is reducing costs for the municipalities and increasing their efficiency," says Susanne Jacobsson, head of Skanova.

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