You may not have noticed, but broadband internet access in Sweden has reached “critical mass”. At some point, during the last year or so, this feature in homes went from a luxury item for a selected few, to a sanitary requirement. Visiting this years “political circus” at Almedalen, made this phenomenon very clear. For Swedish politicians is it no longer “if” but how soon and can all 100% of households in Sweden, also in very remote areas enjoy this “basic” standard of living ? The interesting thing is that, the increase in installations has now gone beyond political visions and subsidies vs market forces – it is now basically demand driven. The average house-owner is now prepared to pay 20-25KSEK (2500-3000 Euro) for the installation of a 100Mbps fiber connection to his home. The key change of mind is that previously this cost was compared with luxury consumption items like new TV-sets or a holiday trip – now this cost is seen as a necessary investment in your property similar to electricity, water and sewage installations (which are much more expensive). The latter are investments that will have a significant positive effect on the property value (or in fact, the lack of which, will negatively affect the value).
An interesting report by Ernest&Young (EY) estimates the cost of the FTTH-investments in Sweden. The ballpark figures show that about 60 BSEK has been invested already to reach the current 56% of households and companies. Another 40 BSEK are needed to reach the government target of 90% (in 2020), and finally another 15-20 BSEK to reach “allmost everyone” (i.e. the last 10%). Looking at the cost per household (there are 4,5M of them) this means that we have spent about 25 KSEK/ household so far, we will spend about the same amount, give or take a few 1000, per household to reach the 90%. The last households will cost 35-40KSEK to connect. Expensive for luxury consumption, but hardly out of reach seen as an investment in a multimillion-kronor house..