Starting today, Finland has made it a legal right for everyone in the country to be connected to basic Internet broadband service of 1 megabit per second downlink speed, and has vowed to give everyone a 100 Mbps connection by 2015.
The move came considering internet had become an integral part of everyone’s life, which the government also acknowledged. 96 percent of the Finnish population is online and around 4,000 homes are left that needs to comply with the minimum speed.
“Internet services are no longer just for entertainment,” Finland’s communication minister Suvi Linden. “Finland has worked hard to develop an information society and a couple of years ago we realised not everyone had access. From now on a reasonable priced broadband connection will be everyone’s basic right in Finland.”
This could save many Finland Usenet newsgroup subscribers a lot of money yearly for their ISP broadband access to get on Usenet.
Finland is the first to make this a legal right, with Spain to follow suite. The UK has also passed legislation regarding broadband, guaranteeing 2Mbps connections to all citizens by 2012. They have not actually made broadband a legal right, though. Spain has said it will introduce a plan next year to allow citizens to buy at least 1Mbps of broadband at a regulated price, and telecommunications companies will be required to make the “universal service” available to everyone, no matter where they live.
The “universal service obligation” would be handled by about 26 different nationwide providers who would offer service around the country. It should not be too difficult: Finland is one of the world’s most wired countries, but only about 26 percent have a broadband connection–about the same as the United States.
As covered before, although the FCC has attempted to offer free broadband, it still a hazy dream that remains questionable if it will truly come into existence.