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Sweden: Community-built Fiber, Professional Operation
Written by Dave Burstein   
Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:05

Fiber in the snow

Skanova/Telia makes long term deals. From Vermont to Lapland, communities wanting fiber connections often band together when telcos refuse to serve them. Some do well, especially those connected to successful municipal utilities. Others flounder because lack of management skill drives brutal costs. Two larger builds, Burlington and UTOPIA, have gone bust.
   Ove Alm of Skanova/Telia offers an alternative. If the community will build the ducts and bear the main construction cost, Skanova is happy to maintain the facilities. They in turn lease to operators, including the parent TeliaSonera, who provide services. “We’re not the only company offering management,” Alm tells me. “That competition is one reason the system works.” Skanova’s common arrangement gives them an option to buy the system after seven or eight years, which they will probably exercise.
    Operators in Sweden are looking at vectored DSL but are hesitant. “We have multiple service providers on our system whom we need to work with. We need a solution to the problem of sharing vectored systems. We also have some very old plant, often 60 years old. Running new fiber eliminates the problems we sometimes have with bad weather conditions.”
Alm’s speaking Tuesday at BBWF, Amsterdam.