Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has said it aims to set up a group to examine how the goals of a European Union (EU) directive which seeks to reduce the costs of setting up communications networks can best be realised. With the ministry suggesting that the working group would be convened ‘this autumn’, it has confirmed that a memorandum regarding the matter has been sent to interested parties for comment, with a deadline of 29 August 2014 set for responses.
The directive, which has been passed in the EU and must take effect in Finland by the beginning of 2016, looks to promote the shared use and construction of networks, while also seeking to simplify the licensing process and to establish a more uniform procedure when fast broadband networks are installed in new buildings and older buildings that are being renovated. The MoTC notes that, in addition to communications networks, the directive also applies to any infrastructure into which elements of a communications network can be installed, such as electricity, gas, district heating, and transport networks, as well as water, drainage, and sewage infrastructure. With respect to communications networks, the directive primarily allows operators to use the infrastructure of other network operators under reasonable conditions.
Commenting on the matter, Finland’s Minister of Education and Communications Krista Kiuru was cited as saying: ‘Shared use and shared construction reduce construction costs and hopefully will accelerate the deployment of broadband. The directive sets only the minimum requirements, making it possible to evaluate whether or not it is possible in Finland to promote the joint construction of networks more extensively than the directive aims to do.’