Front Page: Traficom
Front Page: Traficom

Investments by Finnish telecommunications operators and the entry of new operators into the Finnish broadband market accelerated the growth of the availability of fixed internet connections during 2023. At the end of September 2023, a fast fixed connection with a maximum download speed of at least 100 megabytes was available to 78% of Finnish households. However, there were still large differences in availability between urban and rural areas.

Based on the availability data provided by telecommunications operators to Traficom, a fast fixed broadband network with a maximum download speed of at least 100 megabytes was available to 78% of Finnish households at the end of September 2023. This was 5 percentage points more than by the end of 2022. The availability of a 1 GB network improved by 6 percentage points and covered 71% of households. The maximum speed refers to the connection speed that is available to the user at least part of the time.

Fast fixed broadband connection is primarily implemented with a fibre optic network, although cable modem networks are also relatively comprehensive, especially in cities. At the end of September 2023, fibre optic network was available to 61% of Finnish households. Fibre optic availability increased by 9 percentage points from the end of 2022. Fibre optic availability increased the most in the provinces of South Ostrobothnia and North Karelia, where household availability increased by 19 percentage points in South Ostrobothnia and 17 in North Karelia. Availability also increased by more than 10 percentage points in Kainuu, Central Finland, Kanta-Häme, Lapland and Central Ostrobothnia.

The map shows the situation of fibre optic availability (% of households) by region in 9/2023 and the regional growth (percentage point of households) compared to the situation at the end of 2022.
Figure 1. Fibre optic network availability by region in 2023 and growth from 2022.

Fast fixed connections have improved due to fibre optic investments made by telecommunications operators and new fibre optic operators entering the Finnish market. "Several large companies report to Traficom significantly broader network availability than before. Investments in construction in recent years have made many more fibre optic connections available to households and businesses,” says Senior Specialist Joonas Sotaniemi. In addition, networks completed with public support have been put into use in areas outside of market-based construction. Some of the changes in availability can also be explained by more detailed reporting by companies and the harmonization of definitions related to statistics.

Large regional differences in the growth of broadband availability

The Finnish Environment Institute SYKE has divided Finland into seven different regional categories. The categories are based on, for example, national data on the population, workforce, business trips and buildings. With SYKE's regional categorisation, it is possible to compare regional differences in broadband network availability at a more precise level than the municipal division. According to SYKE's urban-rural categorisation, a fast fixed broadband connection was available in urban areas at the end of September 2023 for 86% of households. Availability was clearly weaker in rural areas, only for 53% of households.

City and countryside can be divided into even smaller areas. In the inner-city area, the 100 MB network covered no less than 92% of households, whereas in sparsely populated rural areas it covered 42% of households. The networks had expanded the most in rural local centres, where availability increased by 10 percentage points. The growth in core rural areas was also 8 percentage points. 

The table shows the fixed network 100 Mbps availability (% of households) according to the Finnish Environment Institute's categorisation, as well as the changes compared to the situation at the end of 2022.
Figure 2. The availability of a fixed internet connection with a maximum download speed of at least 100 megabytes for households in 2022 and 2023 according to SYKE's Urban-Rural categorisation.

The now published fixed network availability data collected by Traficom from telecommunications operators has been collected in accordance with the geographical guidelines of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). The joint guidelines aim to monitor, among other things, the availability and growth of very high capacity (VHCN, Very High Capacity Network) fixed network. In Finland, fibre optic networks meet the definitions of a very high capacity fixed network, i.e. VHCN availability in Finland was 61% of households at the end of September 2023. Traficom collects information from telecommunications operators on the construction of digital infrastructure and the development of digital services in order to map the current state of communications networks and anticipate future needs.

In Traficom, availability refers to a broadband connection that is already built, or that is built, for example, on the border of the end user's plot and requires little additional construction.