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OSLO, Norway, December 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Norway's west coast is set to become the site of Altibox's first installation of the next generation of high-speed broadband. In the district of Hjelmeland households, holiday home owners, local government offices, public service providers, and businesses, will be offered a fiber-optic network with a speed of 1,000 Mb/s (1 Gb/s).
Installation has already begun in the fjord and mountain district. The first customers will be online by the first half of 2014. The objective is for everyone in the district who wants a fiber-optic network connection to have one installed by the end of 2016.
With its widely-spaced buildings, Hjelmeland is perhaps one of the most challenging districts in Norway in which to install a fiber-optic network, according to Chairman of the Board, Toril Nag of Altibox. "This project will set a new standard for what it is possible to achieve when local government, local residents and the service provider all work towards a common goal. In our assessment, there are currently only a few households that are situated so far from the trunk cable that it would not make economic sense to invest in a fiber connection."
This combination of terrain, number of inhabitants and lack of existing high-speed broadband service makes the district an interesting test case for how fiber optics can create change.
"Altibox will closely monitor developments in the district. We will be looking at user behaviour, the rollout of council services, use of holiday homes, contribution to business development and exploitation of new learning channels for the inhabitants. Hjelmeland will be a 'laboratory' for high-speed broadband in Norway," said Chairman of the Board, Toril Nag of Altibox, which is responsible for installing the fiber-optic network. Everybody in Norway with a fiber-optic network from Altibox will eventually have access to the same speeds that the residents of Hjelmeland are now being offered.
Gigabit greets the future
The Norwegian government's stated target is for everyone in Norway to have access to broadband of at least 100 Mb/s by 2017. The EU's goal is that 50 % of subscribers have a broadband speed above 100 Mb/s by 2020. The residents of Hjelmeland will be offered 1000 Mb/s, which is ten times faster and also called 1 Gb/s. With the new network, Hjelmeland will help the government to meet its target for broadband coverage, and can help ensure that other objectives are reached in areas such as healthcare, education and the provision of local authority services.
"We are building for the future. Analyses performed by Google show that a Gigabit (Gb) capacity will be necessary to meet tomorrow's increased requirement for simultaneous streaming on several units, improved digital picture quality, health and welfare technology, transport and smarter public services," said Chairman of the Board, Toril Nag of Altibox.
The district will be the first larger geographic area to be equipped with infrastructure offering the new standard of fiber-optic speeds. Public buildings, like the town hall, schools and social care centres in the district will be the first to be connected. After that, almost all of Hjelmeland's 2,800 residents, around 1,000 holiday home owners and all local businesses will be offered connection to the fiber-optic network.
For approximately 120 Euros per month the residents of Hjelmeland will be offered 1000 Mb/s internet, TV services and IP-telephony.
Smart-house technology and new self-help solutions
Local government buildings, the first homes and selected businesses will join the network during the first half of 2014.
"We can look forward to an incredibly exciting year. We believe that the installation of the most advanced data-communications infrastructure in Norway will make us an even more attractive area to live in for people of all ages. In the long-term, for example, the fiber-optic network could enable our older residents to live at home for longer, with the help of smart-house technology and new self-help solutions," said Hjelmeland's mayor, Trine Danielsen.
"In addition, the new fiber-optic network will boost business development throughout the district, and provide a strong platform on which to build for both existing business enterprises and brand new ones," she added.
Toril Nag, Chairman of the Board, Altibox: +47-934-88-888
Lars Rasdal, Press Officer, Altibox: +47-934-88-142
Trine Danielsen, Mayor of Hjelmeland District Council: +47-404-39-010
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