FICORA – Securing reliable and easy communications

Published 02.03.2018

Finland needs efficient, secure and increasingly faster communications. FICORA ensures efficient and secure connections and enables the development of digital business in Finland. Read more from our Financial Statement 2017.

FICORA supervises communications markets, promotes information security and operational reliability in society, and safeguards the functioning of the communications market by means of steering and regulation. FICORA promotes the communications services of the future by granting test licences for trial purposes.

Positive developments in the availability of communications services

The year 2017 saw a continuation of previous trends in broadband, telephone and fixed TV services. The use of fast broadband services continued to grow rapidly at the expense of slower data transfer services and traditional voice and messaging services. New EU roaming legislation took effect in mid-June, lowering mobile usage costs in Europe significantly.

Fibre construction aid available

High-speed fibre connections improve the vitality of regions and promote equal access to digital services now and in the future. FICORA's efforts to boost fibre network construction included promoting the joint construction network and granting broadband aid.

FICORA’s broadband aid project has made possible the construction of more than 20,000 kilometres of fibre-optic network, which currently has over 30,000 subscribers and makes high-speed fibre broadband available to more 83,000 households. That is 1/3 of the entire fibre broadband coverage of households in Finland. So far, a total of EUR 49.8 million has been granted and EUR 33.9 million paid in broadband aid ─ and another EUR 24 million is still available. The Fast Broadband project has succeeded in expanding the fibre network to areas in Finland which are not covered by commercial construction projects, which tend to focus on the largest population centres. Further information: Fast broadband project (in Finnish).

New service digitalisation opportunities with 5G technology

Finland has the ambition to be one of the world leaders in the development and deployment of next-generation wireless broadband, 5G. The work to harmonise 5G technology internationally is underway and 5G will be introduced widely as of 2020. FICORA supports experimentation and testing by flexibly issuing radio licences for 5G trials. 5G is one of the driving forces behind digitalisation because it meets the future needs of different groups of users of wireless communications in several sectors.

A regulated positioning and timing service supports public authorities and security of supply

As more and more new digital services emerge, reliable and confirmed positioning and time data become crucial. The Public Regulated Service (a service restricted to government-authorised users) for timing and positioning provided by the European Galileo satellite navigation system supports the authorities and helps them secure infrastructure which is vital for the security of supply in situations where verified positioning and timing data are required. FICORA has been appointed as the competent PRS authority in Finland, and active joint international efforts have been taken to launch the operations.

Growth potential in wireless broadband

Frequency changes and implementing frequency changes in the terrestrial television network allowed us to enable wireless broadband in the 700 MHz frequency band on February 1, 2017. These frequency changes signified the single most important network change affecting consumers in the era of digital television. FICORA set up an advice service providing viewers with reception information and tuning instructions.

Information security of critical importance

FICORA is constantly tackling information security incidents, radio interference in emergency traffic, and long-lasting serious faults in communications networks and services. Operating under FICORA, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC-FI) takes effective steps to develop situational awareness of cyber security, cooperation between public authorities and companies, and the operational reliability of communications networks.

In 2017, organisations were dealing with very similar security risks as in 2016: ignored security updates, ransomware, scams and outsourcing management. Global ransomware attacks caused financial damage and had serious societal implications. Finland was spared major damage thanks to well-functioning international collaboration, mutual trust and the NCSC-FI’s quick response ability.

Read more: FICORA Financial Statement 2017 (in Finnish).

Further information

Financial Manager Petra Ruotsalainen, tel. +358 (0) 29 539 0419

Key words: Information security , Internet , Post , Radio , Spectrum , Telephone , Television , News

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