There may only be 350 residents in the Norwegian west coast community of Modalen, but they could end up marked in history as the most technologically advanced citizens of their time.
The town is in the midst of the Modalen project, an effort to make broadband-based Internet with 2-megabit online access the basis of all interactions and communications between residents' homes and the outside world.
Leading the project at its launch last November was PCTVnet ASA, which loaned a set-top box called HomePilot to all families of all incomes, so the entire town will have access to such services as Web access, E-mail, interactive TV, application service provider, and IP video telephony. Norwegian networking company Nera ASA has already installed a wireless broadband solution using radio signals, and this year is testing two-way satellites that will make full digital TV over IP possible. And recently joining the effort was Cisco Systems, which is providing the routers and switches.
Modalen is the first community to undergo an all-broadband project as part of an effort by the Norwegian government to achieve full broadband coverage nationwide by 2004.