From Iceland — Village Must Repair Own Internet

Village Must Repair Own Internet

Published September 15, 2013

A village in east Iceland that has a poor internet connection will not receive help from any telecom nor any government funding to improve the situation.
While Iceland boasts one of the highest quality domestic internet systems in the world, how good an Icelander’s internet connection is depends a great deal on where in the country they live. RÚV reports that the residents of Borgarfjörður eystri have had a very slow connection to the internet for years, and this will likely remain the case for the immediate future.
While there are fiber-optic cables leading to the village, it takes special equipment to connect the village to them. Yet telecom companies in Iceland do not consider the cost – about 2 million ISK – worth the returns.
The only other possible recourse is the Telecommunications Fund, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior. However, Gunnar Svavarsson, the director of the fund, told reporters that the fund cannot be used to improve internet connections; it can only repair them in the event of a “market failure”.
“This means that where we’ve gone in the country, to build up GSM connections or high speed internet connections in about 200 municipalities in the country, have been in places where no one else could go in,” he said in part.
With neither the country’s telecom companies nor the Telecommunications Fund willing or able to improve Borgarfjörður eystri’s internet connection, the village is effectively left with no other recourse but to raise the 2 million ISK themselves, or learn to live with a much slower connection speed than those living in the capital area.

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