Broadband Basic Right In Finland

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.

Comments

  1. says

    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. :)