Broadband now a legal right in Finland

Dylan Bushell-Embling
02 Jul 2010

Broadband access is now a legal right to every citizen of Finland, under new legislation that came into effect Thursday.

Finland's new Universal Service Obligation (USO) requires every operator in the country to offer broadband connections of at least 1Mbps for anybody who requests one.

And the government plans to ensure the vast majority of the population is on a 100Mbps connection by 2015.

Finnish communications minister Suvi Linden told theBBC that internet services are now a crucial part of everyday life. “Internet services are no longer just for entertainment,” she said.

An estimated 96% of the population is already online, Linden said.

But the OECD ranks Finland just 14th among its members by broadband subscribers per 100,000 people.

Access to the internet is already a protected right in Estonia, in France due to legal precedents, and in some other countries, but Finland is thought to be the first to specify speeds and connection types.


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