Sweden’s government has allocated an additional SEK850 million (USD100 million) for rural high speed broadband access network expansion in 2017-2020, on top of the SEK3.25 billion already committed, taking the programme’s total support budget to SEK4.1 billion. In a press release, Housing and Digitisation Minister Peter Eriksson said: ‘Demand for support for broadband expansion in the country is large, especially in areas that are not accessible by a commercial rollout of broadband. This [Rural Development Programme funding] gives, along with the already existing broadband support, greater opportunities to live and work in rural areas.’ The release notes that the government has also previously enabled separate broadband investment of SEK1.2 billion via three northern regional fund programmes – with these regional funds mainly supporting the development of ‘comprehensive interurban networks’, complementing the Rural Development Programme funding which is focused on the expansion of end-user high speed broadband network access.
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