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Finland Passes Laws to Promote Infrastructure Sharing

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Finland's government is proposing that the construction of communications and electricity networks should be expedited with an act on the shared construction and use of network infrastructure.

The goal is to reduce the construction costs of high-speed broadband networks by increasing the collaboration of various network operators and to promote the development of digital services and functions.

The new act on shared construction and use would oblige the communications and electricity network operators as well as water supply and transport network operators to agree to reasonable shared use or construction of networks. The collaborative obligation would concern the use of network structures and constructions and the actual construction of the networks.

However, the shared construction obligation would only be applicable if one party of the collaboration is a telecommunications operator and provided that costs are not increased for either party compared to separate construction. Legislative proposals related to collaboration will have no effect on the construction regulations, permit regulations or occupational safety regulations concerning the construction or use of networks.

A new act being planned would also obligate network operators and officials to provide information on future network projects and for existing networks to be generally available through a centralised information service. The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (Ficora) would function as a centralised information centre and a mediator for possible disagreements related to collaboration.

In addition to the act on shared construction, the Government proposes amendments to the Information Society Code insofar as it concerns the internal networks of buildings and real estate. The amendment would make it obligatory to build an internal network in conjunction with new buildings and larger renovations.

The Government decided on 12 November 2015 on the contents of the act on shared construction and use as well as amending the Information Society Code.

The new laws are scheduled to enter into force on 1 July 2016.

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Tags: ficora  Finland