Geek News: Latest Technology, Product Reviews, Gadgets and Tech Podcast News for Geeks

Broadband Basic Right In Finland

Posted by Andrew at 8:25 AM on July 1, 2010

From the beginning of July, a 1 Mbit/s Internet connection will become a universal service in Finland.  Simply, this means that anyone who wants an Internet connection must be provided with one at a reasonable price by one of the 26 telecom operators.

This makes Finland the first country in the world to make Internet access a basic right and it’s interesting to compare this with the UK and France which have both threatened to cut-off the connections of persistent copyright infringers.

From a technical perspective, it’s not a big deal.  There’s already about 96% connection penetration in the country already and this means that there are only about 4000 properties that would need to be connected to achieve full penetration.

Personally, I think this is great step forwards.  1 Mbit/s isn’t super fast but it’s adequate and over time technology and commercial pressure will up the data rate.  However, the key point is that it’s a universal service or basic right enshrined in law, which means that it can’t easily be taken away.

There’s additional coverage over at the BBC.

One Comment

  1. From Geno Prussakov at 2:09 pm on July 1, 2010

    I also believe this is a great step forward on the part of the Finnish government. Speaking first-hand, I can tell that they’ve already gotten excellent connection in most remote places (much of Finland is rural, and the fact that 96-97% of the country’s population already has Internet connection is a huge number); but it’s doomed to get even better than that. WTG, Suomi!! No wonder why I’ve always enjoyed fishing there. :)