Broadband Connections and Information Security

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Helsinki, 6 July, 2005 — Broadband Connections and Information Security

The global market offers borderless business opportunities. But the same opportunities are open to everyone else as well. The key factor to success is productivity - how to produce more added value with the available resources. One of the best ways to do this is to use new technologies and to build dynamic networks with partners and customers. In Finland the forerunners can be found from the ICT, banking, paper, and metal industries.

The Government supports innovation networks with investments to infrastructure, education, re-search and development - and with liberal market regulation and lean bureaucracy. A forum for these activities is the Government Information Society Programme – with ambitious goals to im-prove competitiveness and productivity, to promote social and regional equality, and to improve citizens' well-being and quality of life through efficient use of information and communications technologies. The Programme is chaired by the Prime Minister and involves key stakeholders through the Information Society Council.

Two cornerstones of the programme are the Broadband Strategy and the Information Security Strat-egy.

The Broadband Strategy pools key actors together to make sure that by the end of 2005:

• All technologies included, there are 1,000,000 broadband subscriptions in Finland, of which the most have a connection speed of at least 2 Mbit/s (in a population of 5.1 million inhabi-tants)
• High-speed telecommunications connections with regional coverage and reasonable end-user prices are available to everyone; and
• Finland's status as one of the European leaders in the use and availability of telecommunica-tions connections is stabilized.
The strategy contains nearly 60 concrete actions that will make these objectives real. These range from legislative measures increasing competition to research and development actions creating new services.

The Information Security Strategy is the Government’s main tool to build trust towards the informa-tion society. The main objectives of the strategy are to:

• Promote national and international cooperation in the field of information security;
• Increase national competitiveness and build a favourable business environment for ICT firms;
• Improve information security risk management;
• Safeguard the citizens’ fundamental rights and help companies to protect their knowledge capital; and
• Increase awareness of and competences in information security.

The strategy contains about 30 measures and brings resources of the Government, business sector, and other organisations together. The strategy underlines the importance of information security and trust in the development of new products and services and in their adoption by the customers. It also points out that information security is not only a technical issues but more and more an economic, social, and political challenge.

Broadband connections and information security are crucial elements of the information society. However, there are other crucial elements as well. Efficient use of new technologies requires new skills, new working methods, and new ways to organize the entire company or administration. The Information Society Programme emphasizes strongly education, training, and organizational devel-opment both in private and public sectors. Competition is pushing companies to innovate and change, yet the need for radical reforms concerns the public sector as well. Cost effective, service oriented, and cooperative administration is a strong factor when trying to attract work and invest-ments. And this is exactly what we are doing within the Information Society Programme as well: structural and operational changes at the central and local levels that will let us utilize fully the op-portunities of the ICT.

Leena Luhtanen is the Minister of Transport and Communications and the Vice-Chairperson of the National Information Society Council.

The article is published in ICT Cluster Finland Review 2005.

More information
ICT Cluster Finland Review 2005