Estonia Aims For Broadband For All By 2015

At this point, we're wondering if there is any nation in the world who won't get caught up in the race for complete bandwidth domination. Shortly after Britain, South Korea and Australia all publicly confessed to plans to expand broadband access (and speeds) in their respective nations, Estonia has come forward to do the same. Of course, the US has set aside billions in the recently passed Recovery Act, but it's timeline is hardly this ambitious.

If all goes to plan, Estonia's citizens will all have access to high-speed Internet by 2015. Yes, just six years from now. The nation's government and telecom companies operating there have announced a remarkable 283 million euro (374 million dollar) initiative to provide access to every single household before the halfway point in the next decade. Estonia's Minister of Economy and Communications Juhan Parts said the following: "If the railway was developed in the 19th century and the electrical grid in the 20th century, then the 21st century is the era of developing communication networks. The project makes it possible to quicken the economy and at the same time to create new jobs."

The project will officially be known as the EstWin project, which calls for the creation of a 100Mb network to be established before 2016 comes to pass. All told, it'll utilize 6,640 kilometers of fiber-optic cable just in the initial phase, with that growing to an incomprehensible figure when the entire project is complete. Not surprisingly, the venture is being co-funded by the all-powerful European Union, and if this starts off well, don't be shocked to see other EU countries following suit.