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Good practice: Broadband for Mand-ø

“Broadband for Mand-ø" is one of the five winners of the European Broadband Awards 2018. The project provided a high capacity network to the inhabitants of a very small island with 110 houses, located in the UNESCO world heritage area in Denmark, Wadden Sea. The local volunteers received support for broadband network from the residents of the island. As a result, almost all houses in the island are connected to the broadband network. The tourist industry now enjoys much better conditions for servicing visitors.

A view of the island Mand-ø

Broadband for Mand-ø

A view of the island Mand-ø

Socio-economic impact and affordability

Mandø is an island off Denmark located in the UNESCO world heritage area, Wadden Sea. As the island is relatively small and mostly rural, it was not an attractive investment for commercial operators. On top of this, the island required a new fibre connection to the mainland, so it has been considered to be outside of the scope for high-speed broadband coverage for long time.

Local community volunteers gathered support for the project among the inhabitants of the island, and, together with the customer owned utility, SE/Stofa, managed to deploy the project without support from the Danish broadband state aid scheme.

The fibre connection with the mainland alone accounted for 50% of the cost of the project. The works on the island were impeded by the tide, which flooded the only access to the island twice a day. SE/Stofa owns and operates the network. SE/Stofa has opened its network at wholesale level for resale activities.

The objective was to establish FTTP infrastructure on Mand-ø, connect all houses and provide broadband services to more than 60% of the houses. This goal was superseded, with the penetration rate of the project reaching 86%. All 110 houses on the island are now connected and 95 of them are using the broadband services. The infrastructure is open, according to the cost reduction directive, is future proof, robust and scalable, and indeed meets the EU Gigabit Society targets for 2025.

Results and impact

Most houses on the island are now connected to the high-speed broadband. The number of tourists visiting (c. 120,000 per year prior to the project) is expected to increase, and with it, the general economic activity on the island. Improved broadband connectivity has already resulted in the establishment of online booking systems for bed and breakfasts, transport to the island, guided tours, etc. A local store supported by an online shop, which will focus on selling local products such as wool and meat, is planned to be opened. For the first time, products from Mand-ø island will be available nationwide.

More information

<p><em>The project would not have been possible without the high commitment of the local volunteers and the Joint Council of Mand&oslash;, who gathered support from an overwhelming proportion of residents and owners of summer houses on the island.</em></p>

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