17 Sep 2020
EUR 24.77 million
Financial institutions and SMEs
|Date of agreement:||7 Sep 2020|
|Customer:||Eidsiva Energi AS|
|Amount in NOK:||NOK 500 million|
|Amount in EUR:||EUR 46.27 million|
|NACE sector / loan type:||Post and telecommunications|
|Business area:||Energy and water|
NIB has provided the loan to finance part of Eidsiva Energi’s investments to increase the number of active optical fibre broadband network clients from 50,000 to a significantly higher number in Innlandet County by 2021. The new investments will facilitate further connections in the period after 2021.
Innlandet County has the lowest penetration of optical fibre broadband in Norway. The aim of the project is to increase access to fast optical fibre broadband, thus contributing to Norway’s national digital strategy of providing a minimum of 100 Mbit/s broadband connections to 90% of all households by 2020.
The project is an extension of the company’s previous fibre investment program, co-financed by NIB for the rollout of fast optical fibre broadband networks for 2017–2020, to reach a target of 50,000 active clients. The scope of the objective has since increased due to high demand. In addition, the importance of access to fast broadband networks for distance work has become evident during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Eidsiva Energi AS is Norway’s largest electrical grid company and has been a customer of NIB since 2007. The company holds a 42.8% ownership stake in the power production company Hafslund E-CO Vannkraft. Eidsiva Energi's other business areas include fibre broadband and district heating. The company operates its broadband and fibre business via two subsidiaries: the wholly-owned Eidsiva Fiberinvest AS and the 90.1%-owned Eidsiva Bredbånd AS. Eidsiva is 50% owned by Hafslund AS, while Innlandet Energi Holding AS owns 49.41%, and the Municipality of Åmot owns the remainder.
There is a significant variation of broadband access between municipalities in Norway and high potential for improving access especially in the Innlandet County, as the penetration rate is among the lowest in the country, still below 70% at the end of 2019. The investment will provide new digital infrastructure and services by expanding coverage, and increasing capacity and speed. The past few months of the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a global transition towards a digital universe and further highlighted the importance of access to a high-speed internet connections.
The project is not expected to have any significant environmental impacts.