Summary of broadband development in Estonia
The Estonian Digital Agenda 2030 focuses on developing digital public services, cybersecurity and improving connectivity across the country.
National broadband strategy and policy
- The process of broadband deployment is managed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications (MKM, Majandus-ja Kommunikatsiooniministeerium). The Ministry is responsible for broadband strategy and legislation.
- The Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA, Tarbijakaitse ja Tehnilise Järelevalve Amet) is a governmental organisation operating in the administrative area of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. It oversees and regulates technical standards and collects market data. The aim of the Authority is to help implement the national economic policy through improvement of safety, organising the expedient use of limited resources and increasing the reliability of the products in the field of manufacturing environments, industrial equipment, railway and electronic communication.
- The Estonian Broadband Development Foundation (ELASA, Eesti Lairiba Arenduse Sihtasutuse) is responsible for the EstWin project, installation of fibre-optic cables and construction of connection points.
- The Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITL, Eesti Infotehnoloogia ja Telekommunikatsiooni Liit) unites Estonian ICT companies, promotes their cooperation, presents their joint positions regarding broadband network development and acts as a competence centre.
- The Information System Authority (RIA, Riigi Infosüsteemi Amet) is an implementing entity of the structural assistance of the European Union, which administers the European Regional Development Fund support in building the broadband backhaul network.
Main aims for broadband development
Estonia’s Digital Agenda 2030 was adopted on 7 October 2021. The strategy is in line with the Gigabit Society connectivity targets. The overall objective of the strategy is to achieve high-speed, reliable, and affordable electronic communications connections in the country by 2030, irrespective of the location. To implement the vision, three specific goals have been set:
- digital government, i.e. the use of digital solutions in the public sector,
- electronic communication, i.e. connectivity, and
- national cyber security.
By 2030, ultrafast, reliable and affordable telecommunications connections should be available in Estonia irrespective of the location, making it possible to create and use innovative services. All should have access to connections of at least 100 Mbps which can be increased up to 1 Gbps. The government will support the development of very high capacity access networks in rural areas where telecommunications companies do not invest under the conditions of competition.
The support will also be granted to a) establish core infrastructure in the main transport corridors in Estonia, allowing for uninterrupted 5G coverage, b) secure coverage of selected residential and business areas with 5G and c) necessary preparations for the adoption of 6G when the relevant technology arrives on the market.
Main measures and financial instruments for broadband development
A central mapping tool (Communications Coverage Application) on availability of broadband services has been developed by the Estonian Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority (TTJA). It is an interactive portal, where the users can get information about the availability of broadband services in Estonia.
Recovery and Resilience Plan: In total EUR 208 million is devoted to digital objectives. The support for deploying VHCNs in rural areas (Component 3 ‘Digital State’ with a EUR 24.3 million budget) is expected to ensure broader access to online services. 8.000 sites shall be
equipped with VHCN under this investment.
In 2009, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and the Estonian Association of Information Technology and Telecommunications (ITL) founded the Estonian Broadband Development Foundation (ELASA) to implement the EstWin project and to give all residential houses, businesses and authorities a chance to connect to the next-generation broadband network with a transmission speed up to 100 Mbps. These investments are intended to stimulate complementary deployments of last-mile connections by commercial telecom operators. The project rolled out approx. 7.000 km of fibre backhaul networks in rural areas and settlements with less than 10,000 inhabitants, where optical networks did not previously exist and where operators had no previous plans to install them. EstWin is funded inter alia from European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). The implemented and planned parts of the network are visualised on the online map. The EstWin project is nearing completion, the backhaul network is almost finalised, and only small part of southeast Estonia remains to be covered.
Data on broadband development and technologies in Estonia
For the latest data on broadband coverage, subscriptions and penetrations, coverage of different broadband technologies and costs check the scoreboard reports and the country reports of the Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI).
Spectrum assignments for wireless broadband
For details on harmonised spectrum assignments consult the European 5G Observatory.
National and EU publications and press documents
- Estonian Digital Agenda 2030
- Study on National Broadband Plans
- Guide to High-Speed Broadband Investment
- Broadband Connectivity Reports and Analyses
- Mobile and fixed broadband prices in Europe
- Study on broadband coverage in Europe
- Estonia - country reports on performances in digitisation: connectivity, digital skills, digital public services and more