Government Promises Fast Broadband for All

The Swedish government plans to provide fast broadband connections for almost all Swedish households by 2020. The minister of infrastructure, Åsa Torstensson, told Swedish Radio on Tuesday that "it's important that connection capacity is equally good in the entire country."

A recent study financed by the government suggests that the state should invest 430 million dollars for expanding the broadband net in the sparsely populated areas of the country. In its autumn budget the government allocated 34 million dollars for this purpose as a first step.

However, despite Sweden having one of the highest numbers of internet users per capita in the world, there remains a sizeable minority of the public who feel cut off from the net. The latest figures show that some 1.7 million people, out of Sweden's population of 9 million, have no access to the Internet. And most of them are elderly people.

Gerd Klang who gives courses on the Internet to members of the Swedish Pensioners' National organisation, PRO is worried that its members have been left behind in the technological advance, in spite of the fact that many of them are eager to acquaint themselves with the system.

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