Stockholmers might surf fast but northern Sweden has caught up with them

– new applications for broadband require faster and smarter connections Today, when residential broadband is used for a lot more than surfing on the Internet, users put heavy demands on connection speeds and user friendliness. Telia’s statistics show that the percentage of customers in Sweden with high-speed broadband (between 8 and 24 Mbit/s) has increased by 51 percent in one year. At the same time, Telia has secretly rebuilt its networks to create “smart broadband” and eliminate the technical mess in homes.

In terms of connection speeds, city dwellers in Sweden have long been the unthreatened leaders, but as technology has been built out, high-speed broadband has spread all over the country. Today, it is more or less a dead heat between Stockholm and the counties of Norrbotten and Skåne, where the largest percentage of customers surf at speeds up to 24 Mbit/s and 8 Mbit/s. Stockholm and Skåne (39.4 percent) are only a few tiny decimal points ahead of Norrbotten, the new contender (39.0 percent).

Thank television for the speed

The nationwide rise in connection speeds is due to the fact that broadband is increasingly becoming the heart of communications in Swedish homes. In September, Telia registered its 200,000th digital television customer, which is 100,000 more since May this year. Digital TV and IP telephony via broadband are growing rapidly and newer services, such as music and home security, will spur this development further.

“These trends indicate the potential of broadband to link together all residential communication equipment. When our customers steadily increase their connection speeds and use broadband for more than surfing, all the technology has to work as well. That’s why we have rebuilt our network so customers can easily connect everything in their home, without a lot of unnecessary boxes and cords,” says Erik Hallberg, head of Broadband Services at TeliaSonera Sweden.

Telia is the first in the world with smart broadband. In the Telia Smart concept, the telephone jack is equipped with an all-in-one box (a gateway) that houses a broadband modem, a built-in wireless network, IP telephony adapter and firewall. The user does not need to worry about whether it is the telephone, TV or game console that is connected to the box – the box knows automatically which type of unit is being used.

Areas in Sweden with the fastest surfing speeds

- Percentage of customers with high-speed broadband and the increase from July 2006 to July 2007 (8-24 Mbit/s)

Ranking County Percentage Increase

1 Stockholm 39% 51%

2 Skåne 39% 53%

3 Norrbotten 39% 57%

4 Västmanland 39% 74%

5 Uppsala 38% 66%

6 Västra Götaland 38% 62%

7 Södermanland 37% 66%

8 Halland 37% 60%

9 Kronoberg 37% 66%

10 Örebro 37% 40%