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Finland Declares Broadband A Legal Right

Gordon Kelly


Finland Declares Broadband A Legal Right

Here's an interesting development which will scare the living daylights out of every ISP...

Finland has become first country to enforce broadband as a legal right for every citizen. Beginning today a USO (universal service obligation) guarantees in law that every Finn receives a 1Mbit broadband connection.

"We considered the role of the internet in Finns everyday life," said Finnish communication minister Suvi Linden. "Internet services are no longer just for entertainment. Finland has worked hard to develop an information society and a couple of years ago we realised not everyone had access."

Building on this the Finnish government has also vowed to ensure everyone has a 100Mbit broadband connection by 2015, while it has already gotten 96 per cent of its population online. These figures dwarf the 2Mbit minimum connection speed the UK government is aiming for by 2012 as part of Digital Britain, as well as yesterday's news that 38.8m (roughly two thirds) of UK dwellers are now online.

Interestingly, it was the BBC who commissioned a huge GlobeScan survey in March across 26 counties and polling more than 27,000 adults to find four out of five see Internet access as a fundamental human right. Despite this only Estonia has so far declared its intentions to follow in Finland's path.

The counter argument is Britain - with a 60m population compared to the 5.3m of Finland and 1.3m of Estonia - has a much tougher job on its hand to fulfil such idealistic scenarios. That said these positive initiatives will do little to stem the already read hot topic of Britain's Broadband Backlash...

Source: BBC News

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