Tim Scott on Vasteras, Sweden's Municipal Broadbad Initiative

PacketFront’s Tim Scott presented a case study on how Vasteras, Sweden has positioned the fiber to the home network they’ve built over the past 4-5 years.

City felt under served by telecoms, so they decided to build their own gigabit ethernet metro network for 40,000+ residents and 2,000+ companies. Rather than offering an exclusive contract with a connectivity firm, they decided to contract the construction, then own and control the network as they saw fit.

Tim Scott of PacketFront
Tim Scott

Their rationale is that bandwidth should be built as a public utility, much like sewer, where homes are hooked up and charged a monthly access fee.

After the network was built, it was opened up to allow a variety of services to run on the network, including ISPs, gaming services, community information, movie and music services.

Vasteras has achieved an 80% take up rate for the service. This was partly due to announcements where they let consumers know that fiber to the home hook-ups would be available on certain days for a certain price, but would cost more if they chose not to hook up when the major roll-out was taking place.

The community site includes a portal that lists all available ISPs with their offerings, such as bandwidth options and price. Taking things further, it includes an average consumer ranking of each service. Over time, the previous incumbent ISP has ranked last among providers, showing the power of competition on the open network. Scott shows the ISP ratings page in this slide:

Tim Scott of PacketFront

PacketFront’s open access broadband networking systems looks like an interesting option for municipalities interested in getting into broadband as a utility.

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