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Last mile: Cost likely to be split between state, local councils, consumers

Local projects are pushing the introduction of high-speed Internet across municipalities in several counties. While they’re still collecting feedback from the local population, it is already clear that at least 20,000 km of new optical connections will be added to Estonia’s communications networks.

The state is planning to get an optical core network ready in 2018 that aims at bringing high-speed Internet closer than 1.5 km to 98 percent of all households in the country, ERR’s Aktuaalne kaamera reported on Monday.

There are now three projects working on the so-called last mile—connecting consumers to the state-funded core network. DigiTee, aiming to connect Pärnu County, has already had more than 7,000 requests from private households.

In Lääne and Rapla County as well as in part of Järva County, the Digikond project is set to do the same later this month. Another survey, that of the DigiMaa project in Harju County, is about to end next month, already having collected more than 11,000 requests from households.

The idea is to build the last mile in such a way that the project would retain ownership, but rent the connections to a telecommunications provider like e.g. Telia. The construction of the last mile would likely come to cost some €20 million over the next years, of which the state would pay 35 percent, the local municipality 50 percent, and the consumer some 15 percent.

At the mentioned 15 percent, a single private household would likely pay some €300 towards the fiberoptical connection.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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