Eyes of the broadband world turn to tiny Norwegian village

Have you heard of Modalen? No? Well if you have half an interest in broadband you soon may have done...

Have you heard of Modalen? No? Well if you have half an interest in broadband you soon may have done...

Modalen, a small village in Norway, has been chosen for an experiment in which the whole town will be connected by wireless broadband technology. A consortium of high-tech companies is behind the project named Multimedia@Modalen included wireless broadband company Nera and Cisco Systems. Every house, public service and local business will be connected by the project with set-top boxes available on loan for all the participants. The village was selected because of its remote location and the fact connectivity has largely been impossible in the past as cable could not be laid in the region, thus making it an ideal candidate for such a trial of wireless communication networks. The eyes of the technology world will be focussed on Modalen as it publicly showcases the technology, but until now the small village will be almost entirely unheard of around the world - and doubtless in many parts of Norway. So, here are several facts you will probably not have known about Modalen. The village has a population of between 350 and 385. It is located on the west coast of Norway, one hour's drive North East from Bergen, but the best access to the village is by sea. It is the second smallest municipality in Norway. It is situated in a valley forged by the Mo-fjord. It has one school which boasts 70 pupils aged six to 16. The village has a history of sand-digging, now represented by a coat of arms consisting of three spades. Prior to the arrival of wireless broadband engineers visitors to Modalen tended to use it as a base for walking in the surrounding hills and mountains.