Quality of life through optical fibre

Text: Kreetta Haaslahti Photos: Pia Hirvonen

When talking about digital leaps, it is evident that Northern Satakunta is already up in the air. At least if functioning and fast data connections are used as indicators.

Pohjois-Satakunnan Seutuverkko (The Regional Network of Pohjois-Satakunta) is a company owned by the municipalities of Jämijärvi, Kankaanpää, Sastamala, Pomarkku and Pori. Its initial subscribers have been enjoying lightning fast optical fibre network already since the beginning of 2014.

– At this time, the network can be immediately used by approximately 2,500 households. Of this number, over a half already uses it – some for the third year running, says PSSV's CEO, Torsti Ruokoski.

The goal for the utilisation rate of the optical fibre network is 80%. In more remote areas and in smaller municipalities, where connections used to be the weakest, the goal has already been met.

– For example, connections in the centre of Kankaanpää are good for the most part with the current rate of use, so the utilisation rate of optical fibre is still lower in that area.

Quality on the screen and in life

In households, optical fibre connections are utilised for the internet and for improving the quality of television broadcasts, for example. A fast connection makes it possible to use streaming services and IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), which means that TV programs are shared directly to receiver sets via the Internet.

– A fast connection also provides for a new way to use various security-enhancing services, such as real-time video monitoring and remote monitoring of properties.

User experiences in terms of the optical fibre network are encouraging.
– Users have been very happy with the even quality and speed of the network.

In Ruokoski's view, functioning connections have a wider positive impact on the quality of life.
– Thanks to fast connections, time is not wasted on waiting and the work at hand is not interrupted due to disruptions in the telecommunications service. Remote work is truly possible now as well.

Pohjois-Satakunnan Seutuverkon toimitusjohtaja Torsti Ruokoski © Pia Hirvonen

Collaboration advances digitalisation

Several similar optical fibre projects have been started in various parts of Finland over the past few years, but Northern Satakunta is clearly a pioneer. Operations are characterised by the mutual desire to improve connections.

– A fairly extensive and comprehensive network has been built in the entire Northern Satakunta by us and Suupohjan Seutuverkko.
Collaboration between network owners is very versatile, constructive and supportive, praises Ruokoski.

A functioning telecommunications network brings a lot of opportunities.
– There is a solid basis for advancing digitalisation right now. Households are able to utilise telecommunications services well and in many ways, while companies have an opportunity to develop their operations and themselves.

Toward service-based equality

The mass construction phase of the control network has been completed so Northern Satakunta now focuses on the utilisation of the network. The purpose of the Focus on Fibre project is to increase versatile uses of the optical fibre network. Another objective is to improve the prerequisites for living and entrepreneurship.

– Regional equality is tangibly improved by creating a functional framework for solid remote connections. For example, entrepreneurs in the countryside no longer need to spend an entire day on a single meeting because they can save the travel time due to participating remotely.

Companies can operate effectively outside of growth centres as well.
– Thanks to good and reliable connections, it is possible for units in remote areas to use various cloud services and groups' internal databanks.

Even more diverse ways of remote communications are looming in the horizon, such as the provision of remote health services directly to people's homes.
– One of our most ambitious goals is to participate in the creation of a joint remote communications service portal for the entire project area. My dream is to be the pilot target of this development work and, as such, be a pioneer in digitalisation.

What is an optical fibre connection?

•    It is a fast and reliable way to handle all telecommunications and communications services within a property.
•    The connection replaces the traditional phone and internet connections as well as cable, antenna and satellite TV.
•    Optical fibre cables are dug into the ground, which means they are not susceptible to weather conditions.