Plan to Connect Iceland's Rural Settlements with Fibre-Optics Skip to content

Plan to Connect Iceland’s Rural Settlements with Fibre-Optics

By Erik Pomrenke

Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir Icelandic minister
Photo: Minister of Universities, Industry, and Innovation Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir.

Minister of Universities, Industry, and Innovation Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir recently announced plans to connect 102 villages and rural population centres  with fibre-optics. Under this plan, every legal residence in Iceland (not including summer houses) would be connected to the fibre-optic network and enjoy a much faster internet connection. Vísir reports.

Small urban areas left behind

According to Áslaug, the government has already considered plans from telecommunications companies and intends to offer municipalities agreements to pay from the telecommunications fund for ground work in areas that have not otherwise planned for development.

“[The government initiative] Iceland Connected of course made incredible changes to fibre-optic coverage in Iceland,” Áslaug stated to Vísir. “But small urban areas, in addition to settlement between 50 and 200 people, were left behind, and we want to address this. These communities can then catch up with the rest of the nation and we can ensure 100% fibre-optic coverage in Iceland.”

Fibre-optics in every house by 2026

Áslaug stated to Vísir that she hopes the municipalities will accept the government’s offer. The goal is for every household in Iceland to have fibre-optics connectivity by 2026.

“We are paying for the ground work, but we are not covering the costs of the system itself. I am hopeful that most municipalities will accept this offer,” she stated.  “This amounts to about 450 million ISK [$3.2 million; 3 million] and is already funded by the telecommunications fund and the development plan.”

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