PTS proposes 5 Mbps as new basis level for Internet speed

02/05/2017

The Swedish National and Telecom Authority (PTS) recommends that the basic Internet speed that the State guarantees now be increased to 5 Mbps. This is the conclusion of a report entitled “Översyn av nivån för funktionellt tillträde till internet” [”Review of level for functional access to the Internet”]. This represents the final report for the first of several commissions that PTS has been given in connection with the new broadband strategy.

On behalf of the government, PTS has investigated the transmission speed required in order to guarantee that all households and businesses have access to Internet services that are fundamental for being able to live and work anywhere at all in the country. PTS feels that households and businesses need 5 Mbps to be able to make use of these services. PTS therefore recommends an increase from the current level of 1 Mbps to 5 Mbps. A review and possible revision is suggested after five years.

“We are suggesting a five-fold increase for the basic Internet, from 1 Mbps to 5 Mbps. This is a level that comfortably meets current basic needs. Good conditions already exist for virtually all households and businesses to achieve higher Internet speeds via the broadband networks that are established,” says PTS Director-General Dan Sjöblom.

Basic Internet should provide opportunities to find information online, access news, apply for jobs or pursue distance learning, manage your private finances and make use of social services from the public sector. Wherever you live or work, you must be able to communicate by email, social media and video calls. PTS’s definition of basic Internet is based on the EU Commission’s draft directive on electronic communications. Services such as, for example, watching TV or the transmission of high-quality moving images are not included in universal services.

Access good at present 

PTS confirms that access for households and businesses to 5 Mbps is very good. There are many infrastructures that can provide households and businesses with such transmission speeds. By far most users thus have basic Internet access via various infrastructures. It is only in instances where more expensive installation is required at individual premises that PTS believes there is no access. 

A transition is currently under way to a future-proof infrastructure. The goal is that by 2025 almost everyone will have access to very high transmission speeds at home or at work. Until then, households and businesses may need to rely on technical solutions such as mobile networks, radio links and satellites in order to gain access to higher transmission speeds.

PTS proposes new mandate

PTS also proposes that the government give PTS a mandate to secure household and business access to 5 Mbps. The authority has estimated the costs of this investment at SEK 2.2 million, with annual costs of around SEK 1.7 million.

Background

Since 2008 PTS has had a special mandate to procure telephony services. This means that PTS must make sure that households or businesses that have had access to telephony, but that do not now have this, are given access to telephony opportunities once more if this is requested.

In December 2016 the government agreed on a new national broadband strategy, the aim of which is a totally connected Sweden in 2025. PTS has worked actively for many years on collaboration, training initiatives and analyses in order to promote the expansion of broadband throughout the whole country, and it now has an active role in the implementation of the broadband strategy. A review of the level for functional access to the Internet constitutes the final report of the first mandate that PTS was given in connection with the broadband strategy.

 

The report (in Swedish)

For more information:
Ann-Sofie Fahlgren, acting Head of unit, phone: +46 73 644 55 57
PTS press office, phone: +46 8 678 55 55