The Swedish Broadband Forum said its village grid working group has recently held a meeting with representatives of Saffle municipal administration to discuss its experiences of setting up a rural fibre optic network. It said 92 percent of homes in country areas around Saffle are now connected. Economic organisations there have set up a coordination group called SaffleBygdens fibernat (SaBy) and Saffle council has set up a municipal works called Saffle Kommunikation (SaKom), which is responsible for constructing the backbone network that will link local rural grids.
One reason for the success is the project is local involvement. One representative was put in charge of every five to ten households, with responsibility for everything from communication, land agreements and project management to welding. The result is that 2,220 connections out of 2,500 potential ones in the countryside have been achieved, at a gross cost of SEK 30,000 to SEK 32,000 per household. The average cost per metre is SEK 67.
Digging has been carried out at reasonable prices by local contracters at about SEK 24 per metre. Power companies have reduced their collocation costs from SEK 100-108 per metre to about SEK 16-25 per metre. Volunteers also worked on the project, taking about three working days per connection.
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