TALLINN — Sixty years after widespread electrification came to the Estonian countryside, the government has initiated constructing a high-speed Internet network that will bring a connection to every household by 2015.
With its old wooden windmills, thatched roofs and decaying Soviet-era collective farm buildings, bucolic Estonia does give an immediate impression of being high-tech, but soon it will be one of the most-connected rural areas via broadband in the world, far ahead of much wealthier nations such as the United States.
The EstWin project, which will provide high-speed Internet for throughout Estonia by 2015 kicked off Monday in Järvamaa County.
The project is carried out by the Estonian Broadband Development Foundation, founded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and by the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications. EstWin gives all residential houses, businesses and authorities a chance to connect to the next-generation broadband network with a transmission speed up to 100 Mbit/s by 2015. The project will install more than 6,000 km of fiber-optic cables through some 1,400 connection points.
Minister of Economy Juhan Parts told the press that that the project will employ hundreds of projectors, constructors, and suppliers.
“The works started today on 14 different bases, and a procurement is going on to find a projector and a builder for 18 more locations,” Parts said.
He added that “the availability of broadband network is important to local governments to bring entrepreneurs to the area, but also offering health care, education and other services.”
The initial cost of the network construction is 1.5 billion krooni (€95.8 million), which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Estonian government.
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