CAP funding brought broadband to rural Sweden

Broadband has been supplied to the rural area of north-west Sweden by voluntary groups.

The project was partly funded by money from the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) budget under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

The Bracke region in Sweden is quite isolated; there was little interest from the public or private sector to supply broadband to the area.

In 2012, just 0.033% of the area of Bracke had access to a broadband network. Following work by voluntary groups that figure reached 90% by the end of 2017.

Local groups

11 groups were formed in 2017 to carry out the development of a broadband network. One of these groups co-ordinated the installation of a 150km-cable in its own region.

The group dug and prepared for the installation of the cable; the track went over roads and even under lakes.

The group also organised advertising and meetings to inform local residents about the project. All households that could be connected to the network were informed.

Non-profit organisations

The project has led to the formation of many other local non-profit organisations, which are developing broadband networks elsewhere in rural Sweden.

Some groups hire subcontractors to design the network and calculate costs. They then apply for grants and may also subcontract out other work, such as digging in preparation for the cable.