Elektrilevi wants to connect 15,000 homes to the high-speed internet network in 2019
Elektrilevi plans to start with the construction of the high-speed internet network in March 2019, and already within the first year, 10,000 buildings or 15,000 homes, together with apartment buildings, where currently there is no contemporary internet connection are planned to be connected to the network, which is based on optical line technology. According to the plans, Elektrilevi’s high-speed internet network will reach 200,000 homes in total by the end of 2023.
Elektrilevi is going to invest a total of approximately 100 million euros to the establishment of the high-speed internet network within the next five years, 20 million of which is formed by the “last mile” state funding.
“This is a very capital-intensive project, which requires large investments. It’s also the main reason, why large part of Estonia does not have good internet connection - it has not been seen as economically expedient to build a separate network outside larger settlements,” Jaanus Tiisvend, the Chairman of the Board of Elektrilevi explained the situation, and added that Elektrilevi is searching for synergies and cost savings on matching the construction work with the management of the power grid.
“Thanks to the co-management of several networks, we will be able to provide both services at a lower price than separately,” Tiisvend said.
In making internet network construction work plans for 2019, Elektrilevi has taken a number of factors into account, the most important of them being the amount of request applications, which were collected already this summer for making next year’s plans.
“In the plans for next year, a higher priority has been given to the “white areas”, or regions where according to the information gathered by the state, there is the biggest demand for a high-speed internet network and where communication operators have no plans of constructing a network within the next five years,” Tiisvend added, and said that the structure of the local power grid, the existence of a basic high-speed internet network, its capacity, and population density played an important role in the selection of regions.
“Generally, it’s not possible nor reasonable to move to the far end of the network, but it’s more efficient to start from more densely populated areas where currently there is no optical line based high-speed internet,” Tiisvend said. “From there, we can continue to areas where the population is less dense.”
The biggest amount, i.e. close to a third of all request applications for joining the high-speed internet network came from Harju County, and in 2019, the biggest amount of new connections are planned to be created there. Thereby, Tallinn and Tartu are currently not taken into account in 2019’s plans.
Speaking of other counties, the construction works for the high speed internet network in 2019 are planned to begin in Pärnu, Tartu, Ida-Viru and Lääne-Viru, Jõgeva, Võru, Viljandi, Järva, Valga and Rapla counties. Lääne County, Saaremaa, Hiiumaa and Põlva County are not included in the investments for 2019, but presumably, construction works in these regions should begin in 2020.“
We plan to start with the construction work next March. As we start constructing the network in a specific area, we will inform all residents to whom we are able to create an opportunity for joining the network,” said Oliver Ruus, Elektrilevi’s Head of Communication Services, and added that also those residents that have not submitted a request application will be informed of a possibility to join.
Applications for joining the high-speed internet network can still be submitted on Elektrilevi website until the end of the year. On paper, applications can be submitted in many local government units across Estonia. Request applications submitted in November and December are considered in the setting of the investment order for 2019, as well as in the planning of the internet network construction from 2020.
Elektrilevi is the largest network company in Estonia, managing approximately 60,000 kilometres of power lines and 24,000 substations. In addition, Elektrilevi manages the street lighting networks in Tallinn and Tartu, and has constructed a high-speed internet network to Veskimetsa, Tallinn.