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Telenor to advance ADSL rollout plans

Telenor has decided to step up its ADSL rollout plans, thereby ensuring that 90 per cent of Norway's population will have access to broadband by the end of 2005.

Telenor has decided to step up its ADSL rollout plans, thereby ensuring that 90 per cent of Norway's population will have access to broadband by the end of 2005. Norway is in the process of becoming a leading broadband nation, and Telenor's enhanced rollout plans will serve as further confirmation of Norway's advanced position.

"In the autumn of 2003, the renowned technology research company Forrester predicted that Norway could become Europe's leading broadband nation by 2008, due to its high purchasing power, low prices and fierce competition. At that time, Telenor announced that it would contribute to meet this goal by promising 90 per cent national ADSL coverage by the end of 2006," said Morten Karlsen Sørby, head of Telenor's Norwegian market activities. "The Norwegian Post and Telecommunications Authority confirmed this summer that the demand for broadband is high, that Norway occupies an advanced position internationally, and that 23 per cent of Norwegian households are using broadband. We have therefore decided to step up our commitment to broadband, and we are advancing our rollout schedule by one year."
 
Today, approximately 1,200 telephone exchanges have been upgraded, and around 76 per cent of all Norwegian households have access to broadband. To be able to reach our new goal, we need to bring the total figure of upgraded exchanges up to 2,100. Telenor will allocate all the necessary resources to complete the upgrading of the remaining 900 exchanges to allow us reach our goal before the expiry of 2005.
 
"A few people have expressed their concern that not all Norwegian municipalities are able to offer broadband, and furthermore, that there is not sufficient competition in certain local markets," said Morten Karlsen Sørby. "We would therefore like to emphasize that it is Telenor's ambition to provide ADSL access to all 434 municipal centres in Norway by the end of 2005."
 
Telenor's expansive ADSL rollout plans will serve to emphasize the company's view that market players shall themselves be responsible for broadband rollout, and that public authorities should contribute to stimulate demand and develop content, e.g. for schools and educational programmes.
 
"Obviously we also want to cooperate with the authorities to find solutions for the small minority of the population whose place of residence makes it technically impossible for them to be offered ADSL," said Sørby. "We want to be seen as a flexible provider of infrastructure, and we will work together with both central and local authorities to find special solutions whenever possible. Furthermore, we also believe that in time, the technological development will facilitate full national coverage."

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