A NEW DIGITAL AGENDA



All regions need a digital agenda to secure their
digital infrastructure. It’s about democracy. It is
not enough for individual business interests to build
broadband networks. The regions and municipalities
must also act. Communication has always been the
main driver of society. Today, communication is digital
and the infrastructure consists of broadband. The fact
that society is digitized is not a surprise to anyone.
But unfortunately, there is not enough digital infrastructure that enables everyone to be part of the digital
society.
When broadband became a concept, a digital agenda
was first created at EU level, later also through local
national digital agendas. The fundamental part of the
first digital agenda was that access to broadband was

mainly to be built by the market, which was interpreted as telecom operators. The intention was probably
that broadband development should not be done with
tax revenue. Whether it was to reduce the need for
social intervention, or if it was a successful lobbying of
the telecom operators is unclear today.
But one thing is clear. Broadband is not about telecom services but is an infrastructure for the digital
society. Can we then allow business interests to obtain
a monopoly or monopoly on this infrastructure?
Public broadband networks / city networks today
offer infrastructure to all operators and service providers and do not compete with the telecom market.
Instead, the city networks offer access to a neutral
infrastructure.

The digital society is developing rapidly and digitization is becoming increasingly important for public
enterprises, companies and, not least, for individual
residents.
The OECD recently published a report stating that
broadband has an important role to play in economic
growth by creating more companies, more efficient public administration and positive environmental impact.
The Swedish model with publicly owned open broadband networks is one of the reasons for Sweden’s leadership in broadband development and greatly exceeds
other countries where access to broadband is dominated
by monopolistic telecommunications networks.

Although about 70 percent of Sweden’s residents
today have access to high-capacity broadband, 30 percent of the population lacks this opportunity and risks being placed outside the digital community. More and more public services now take place digitally via
broadband and an increasing number of news media such as newspapers are being replaced by video-based
news channels.

Of course, everyone, 100 percent of the
population, must have access to the social information
and the digital society. All municipalities need a local
digital agenda to ensure their digital infrastructure. It
is not enough for individual business interests to build
broadband networks.

The community, regions and municipalities must also act.
Sweden’s broadband success is based on local government involvement, but many municipalities still
lack fully-developed broadband networks. The research institute Rise Acreo, in several reports, has shown the
socio-economic benefits of broadband.

It is important and necessary for the municipalities to ensure the digital infrastructure for all citizens. In order for all citizens to participate in the digital society, everyone must
have access to high-speed broadband.

We need a new digital agenda with the goal that all citizens should be able to access broadband with good capacity.

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