National Audit Office of Estonia (RK)

Effectiveness of development of broadband network or high-speed internet Read full summary in English

2015 report autoID-RK:20151020155638

The National Audit Office audited whether the state has made every effort to ensure that everyone can have unlimited access to fast internet connection by 2020. The National Audit Office also analysed whether the network of fibre-optical cables or the basic broadband network, which is built with European Union support and should guarantee high-speed internet connection, has helped to achieve this goal.

In the report page 1, 2

- What the state failed to see was that telecommunication companies would not start providing an internet service via the fixed network outside of areas of apartment buildings irrespective of the existence of the basic network.

- Telecommunication companies that develop mobile internet have benefited the most from the development of the basic broadband network, because they are now able to offer 4G internet to people. However, the quality of 4G mobile internet is currently not equivalent to the high-speed and superfast internet provided via a fixed network due to limited volume and fluctuating speed.

- The National Audit Office is of the opinion that the opportunities of Estonian people and institutions to use high-speed and superfast internet via a fixed network have not improved significantly so far.

- The use of mobile internet is also more expensive at present than the use of an equivalent internet connection via a fixed network.

In the report page 1-2

- The state does not have a plan for bringing high-speed internet from the established basic broadband network to the end-consumer.

- The state is still trying to identify regions of private houses with small numbers of consumers where providing the internet service to consumers via the fixed network is not profitable for telecommunication companies.

- The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications therefore does not know how much more money must be invested to make high-speed and superfast internet accessible to all homes and institutions.

In the report page 2

- The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications did not agree with the developers and managers (one foundation and few non-profit organisations) developing the basic broadband network on the conditions of how the network is to be maintained and managed during its lifetime.

- The state assumed that the terms and conditions established upon the granting of EU support and the fact that the non-profit organisations developing the basic broadband network belong to communications companies guarantees the management and maintenance of the network.

- the terms and conditions established for the recipients of EU support are binding for only 5-7 years.

The risk cases visible on this page are collected and described by the e-Government Subgroup of the EUROSAI IT Working Group in contact with author Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI). In the same way, analytical assumptions and headings are chosen by the Subgroup. We encourage you to read the original texts by SAIs - to be found in the linked files.