Eskelinen, Heikki Frank, Lauri Dieter Hirvonen, Timo
Year of Publication:
44th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regions and Fiscal Federalism", 25th - 29th August 2004, Porto, Portugal
Broadband infrastructures with a high transmission capacity are seen as a key precondition for the development of an information society, and therefore, their supply and availability have become important issues in public policies. The paper analyses the policy strategies applied in Finland and Sweden for promoting territorial rollout of broadband infrastructures. The experiences of these two countries can be seen to be of scientific interest and political relevance especially for the following two reasons: Both countries have been forerunners in the development of information society in general, and telecommunications in particular. Secondly, these two countries are sparsely populated, which is a most relevant conditioning factor in the rollout of broadband infrastructures characterised by nodal features. Despite the above-mentioned similarities of the two countries, they have applied quite different strategies in the rollout of broadband. In Sweden, the public sector has taken a more interventionist role than in Finland. This implies the question whether and how this difference can be seen in the territoriality of broadband supply. The paper attempts to answer this question, and provide conclusions for effective policy strategies. The paper is an outgrowth of the ESPON (European Spatial Planning Observation Network) project 1.2.2 “Telecommunications Services and Networks: Territorial Trends and Basic Supply of Infrastructure for Territorial Cohesion” (see: http://www.espon.lu).