Technology and innovation;Svalbard

The Internet survey2019


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: The Internet survey
Topic: Technology and innovation

Responsible division

Division for Business Dynamics Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Internet subscription: A service that gives end-users access to the Internet.

Fixed Internet access: All technologies that require a fixed connection via cable (copper, coaxial og fibre) or a fixed antenna (for receiving radio singals from a ground based tranmitter or a satellite).

Broadband: in these statistics broadband is defined as Internet subscriptions with a theoretical transmissions capacity (downloading) larger than 128 Kbit per second.

Business subscribers: establishment, enterprise, organization, institution or public operation.

Private customers: households and private persons. Includes fixed access to leisure time cottages.

Transmission capacity (downloading): the theoretical amount of kilobit/Megabit per second.

Classification in groups for transmission capacity from the fourth quarter 2008:
> 128 Kbit/second = < 4 Mbit/second
> 4 Mbit/second = < 8 Mbit/second
> 8 Mbit/second = < 16 Mbit/second
> 16 Mbit/second = < 32 Mbit/second
> 32 Mbit/second = < 64 Mbit/second
> 64 Mbit/second = < 128 Mbit/second
> 128 Mbit/second = < 256 Mbit/second
> 256 Mbit/second = < 512 Mbit/second
> 512 Mbit/second = < 1024 Mbit/second
higher than 1024 Mbit/second

Standard classifications

County and municipality. Statistics Norway, Centrality 2008

Administrative information

Regional level


Frequency and timeliness

Quarterly. Data by the end of the quarter is published within the end of the following quarter.

International reporting

Not relevant


Files with controlled and edited raw data are stored and can be made available for scientific use. Production data on municipality level is stored in the StatBank and is available for all users.


Background and purpose

The purpose of the Internet survey is to produce detailed regional information about the quality of the infrastructure that establishes access to the Internet for businesses and private persons. The statistics were published for the first time for the first quarter 2002. The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation has assisted the development of the Internet survey financially.

Users and applications

The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation, the Ministry of Transport, Innovation Norway, business associations, research institutes and media also use the statistics.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar.

Coherence with other statistics

Statistics Norway produces statistics about ICT usage among persons and enterprises based on the sample surveys "ICT in the households" and "Use of ICT in enterprises". Even though the numbers are not directly comparable, statistics produced by the Internet survey are supplementing the two other surveys. In both surveys broadband is defined differently than in the Internet survey.

The Norwegian regulatory autority are using the same definition of broadband. Their eKom statistics should return the same total figures for the two markets devided by technology. Their statistisc do not include information about subscriptions by speed or geografic area but have information about mobile broadband connections.

Legal authority

The Statistics Act §§2-1, 2-2 and 2-3.

EEA reference

Not relevant



The population in the Internet survey consists of all enterprises that deliver fixed broadband access to the Internet to end-users in the Norwegian mainland and Svalbard. Libraries, Internet cafés, businesses offering different types of temporary Internet-access etc. are not included in the population. Suppliers of mobile broadband is not included in the survey. From the fourth quarter of 2006 all suppliers of fixed broadband are included even non-commercial suppliers.

Enterprises that deliver access to the Internet to end-users (businesses and private persons) in Norway do not have to register. It is therefore possible that some small suppliers of Internet access are not included in the survey. This may apply in particular to small, locally based cable-TV providers that also provide Internet access with broadband capacity. The way these cable networks are operated makes it difficult to include them all in the survey. The work to ensure full coverage of the survey continues.

Originally the population was identified through contact with the Norwegian Internet Exchange (NIX), the international organisation Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Centre (RIPE NCC) and through studies of the business media. NIX, which is owned and operated by the University of Oslo, are two combined spots for exchange of traffic on the Internet. Suppliers of Internet access linked to NIX are able to enter into contracts with so-called "virtual" suppliers of Internet access about resale of Internet access. "Virtual" suppliers of Internet access hire infrastructure from others. Information from the Internet suppliers linked to NIX makes it possible to localize "virtual" suppliers of access to the Internet. Information on suppliers of Internet access registered with RIPE NCC supplements data collected from NIX. RIPE NCC is an organisation that assigns suppliers of Internet access addresses on the Internet.

The industry that delivers Internet access has an unstable structure. This makes permanent monitoring of the business media necessary in order to adjust the population to changes such as mergers and closedowns. A cooperation with the national regulatory authority has been established in updating the survey population.

Data sources and sampling

Data are collected from the suppliers of Internet access.

The survey is made by total counting of all Norwegian suppliers of Internet access to end-users.

The sample is updated annually based on information from the respondents, follow-up on the units who reports to Norwegian Communication Authority, search in Statistics Norway's register on enterprises, and search on the Internet. Some minor suppliers of cable TV might be missing for the sample.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

The data collection takes place quarterly starting at the beginning of the following month. Deadline for reporting is three weeks. Data are transferred electronically from the respondents in the formats Excel, ASCII and XML. Most data suppliers are using the common webservice Alltin for transfering the data in attachments. A minority are still using email.

Incoming data are compared to the supplied information in the previous quarter by enterprise. The totals are compared to the previous quarter by municipality. Large deviations are checked with the supplier of information.

The number of private access per 100 households is calculated for each municipality. The number of households is from the 4th quarter 2006 onwards taken from register based annual population statistics. The most updated household statistics by 1 January each year is being used.

The median and average values for transmission capacity for private access has been calculated back to 2004. The calculations for the years 2006 until 2008 are more unsecure because of the speed ranges used until the fourth quarter 2008.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


The number of subscriptions is not published in municipalities with less then 10 subscriptions.

Comparability over time and space

The definition of broadband was changed from the 4th quarter of 2004. For some of the most important variables there are unbroken time series from 1 quarter 2002. The statistics were produced for the first time in 2002.

The limitation to only commercial Internet service providers was dropped from the 4th quarter 2006. This change has a significant impact on the figures for the municipalities Modalen and Tranøy.

Mobile broadband was droppet from the survey from the fourth quarter 2008. All figures back to the third quarter 2006 has been corrected.

The new grouping of speed rates from the fourth quarter of 2008 makes direct comparison of all speed groups impossible before and after this change.

The survey does not distinguish between subscriptions in ordinary households and in leisure time cottages. Municipalities with many cottages may get very high figures for private subscriptions per 100 ordinary households.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Internet Service Providers distribute the subscriptions geographically on postal codes. All valid codes are linked to at least one municipality. Some of the postal codes are obsolete or invalid. The postal code is corrected if there is no doubt about the intention of the respondent.

In some cases, the postal codes belong to more than one municipality and one of them will be chosen. This may lead to some errors in the division of subscriptions between municipalities. Some faults in the splitting of the subscriptions between postal codes and subsequently municipalities have ocurred. When such errors occur or are corrected there may be large effects on the per household's figures for some municipalities.

Internet Service Providers differentiate between business and private customers. Businesses pay more for Internet access than private customers in return for a higher quality on the services. Cost considerations may make some smaller businesses choose a private subscription. Thus, the numbers for private customers can include businesses.

Employees with home offices often obtain Internet access at home via the connection of the business. This implies that Internet access at home is more common than the number of private subscriptions indicates. Internet Service Providers use invoice addresses to find the geographical location of customers. For business customers with several geographical locations only one is reported. Businesses with invoice address in e.g. Oslo and branches in other places are reported with a subscription solely in this town.

Some Internet Service Providers offer customers online registration of subscriptions. This creates uncertainty for the quality of the data about geographical location. If there is no other alternative, the respondents are asked to estimate. Subscriptions that are not possible to locate is classified as "Unspecified".

Structural changes on the supplier side may lead to reporting errors like duplicate registration of subscriptions. Such errors have been disclosed concerning larger regional suppliers at a few occasions. Corrected figures have been published.

Measured in relation to the total number of respondents, the response percentage at deadline was about 50 per cent. After reminders the response percentage increased to about 95 per cent. Since the dropouts only include small suppliers of Internet access, the data received probably make up close to 100 per cent of the total market. Missing data are imputed with data from the previous quarter.

Total counting.

Register errors: Since the enterprises that supply Internet access to end-users do not have to register, Statistics Norway has to create a register with the help of different sources. It is possible that this register sometimes is not updated. This situation may lead to undercoverage.


Not relevant