Finland makes broadband Internet access a legal right

By on July 1, 2010, 4:33 PM
Finland has become the first country in the world to grant citizens with the legal right to in-home broadband Internet. As of today, Finns have the right to access a 1Mb/s broadband connection, and the country plans to increase that to 100Mb/s by 2015. Talking to the BBC, Finland's communication minister Suvi Linden explained that the Internet isn't just an entertainment medium, but is also a crucial part of an informed society.

"Finland has worked hard to develop an information society and a couple of years ago we realised not everyone had access," she said. As much as 96% of the country's 5.2 million people are already online, leaving only about 4,000 homes that need to be connected in accordance with the new law. By comparison, the UK government aims to provide 99% of its population with 2Mb/s speeds by 2012 (up from 73%) although there's no law.

In the US, the FCC is pushing for a similar standard with its National Broadband Plan. Like Finland, the agency believes the Internet is a valuable resource and US citizens should have cheap, speedy access. In fact, the FCC expects the Internet to displace phones, TV and other conventional communication technologies. It hopes broadband Internet will exist in 90% of US homes over the next decade, compared to around 65% currently.




User Comments: 28

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KG363 KG363 said:

Although I hate government involvement, this is one of the few things I support. We really need to get on this. I live in a big city and the best I could get is 24Mbps. I get 18Mbps but it's so damn expensive, about $55 a month. Something needs to be done

Guest said:

something tells me the i won't be part if the 90% of broadband Internet in the US.... Sigh*

but good for Finland!

princeton princeton said:

kg363 said:

Although I hate government involvement, this is one of the few things I support. We really need to get on this. I live in a big city and the best I could get is 24Mbps. I get 18Mbps but it's so damn expensive, about $55 a month. Something needs to be done

your complaining about $55 for 18mbps?! In canada 8mbps from rogers is $49

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Hell I'm lucky to get 700kps on my 3mbps connection.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

the FCC expects the Internet to displace phones, TV and other conventional communication technologies.

Not sure this makes much sense. I think what they mean is that internet will replace cell phone signals with wifi signals (hope you cover the entire US in wifi...man that would be a lot of wifi towers). I can possibly see internet replacing the cable for our cable tv...we're already headed that rout with sites like hulu and fancast.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"Like Finland, the agency believes the Internet is a valuable resource and US citizens should have cheap, speedy access."

Well I wonder what they (the U.S. Government) considers as "cheap?" I also pay $55 a month for my cable, which I believe is about $25 a month too much.

Guest said:

Amazing...everyone in the world thinks everything should be "a right" or free.

mattfrompa mattfrompa said:

le sigh....

I have a 768k connection since I moved out, and can't afford more for now...Coming from a 6MB at my parents house *tear*

twite twite, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Why is there something here I simply don't understand? How is 100% anything ever the goal, other then food. It is not unreasonable, and even could be considered more reasonable, to have no internet connection, save the money, and utilize other resources such as library's and hotspots. Is there no portion of the population that is satisfied simply with accessing the internet when they need to?

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

kg363 said:

Although I hate government involvement, this is one of the few things I support. We really need to get on this. I live in a big city and the best I could get is 24Mbps. I get 18Mbps but it's so damn expensive, about $55 a month. Something needs to be done

I don't want to hear it. I'm paying $48 per month for 8Mbps in a bundle package from Bresnan. If I did just internet it would be about $60 for 8Mbps or $75 for 15Mbps. No more complaining from you!

Docnoq said:

Finland - their government makes sure their citizens have internet access.

USA - our government "hopes" citizens will get broadband access.

Hmm. Isn't there a saying along the lines of.. Sh*t in one hand, hope in the other, and see which one fills up faster. I certainly think that applies here :-P

pgcharlie said:

hope my country India too provides speedy connection if not make it legal to its billion population.. right now i pay a hefty amount to just get 512kps.. waiting )

Guest said:

you call your internet service expensive??

i'm in indonesia, 2Mbps = US$110...

still call your isp expensive??

Guest said:

I find it repulsive that people find having internet access so necessary that a government can "call it a legal right"? Rights don't come from the government, they come from nature. The only thing that is a human right is freedom. With everything becoming a "human right" these days, its no wonder so many nations are going bankrupt.

tengeta tengeta said:

When will World of Warcraft become a legal right? Its just so necessary! Teenage boys are deprived and feel like killing themselves when they have to walk away from the game!

Do people realize the only reason governments want to own and "give the right to the internet" is so they can tax the living crap out of it? Its not going to be 99 cents an app in a few years, its going to be 99 cents and 1.99 in taxes. And no, there won't be any free software unless you make the switch to Linux (unless they make an open source tax as well). There is a small chance Microsoft sticks with the half/half model, but I'm 100% sure OSX will be locked to a single app store in a year or so.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

When will World of Warcraft become a legal right? Its just so necessary! Teenage boys are deprived and feel like killing themselves when they have to walk away from the game!

Maybe they ought to go out and try to get laid, just like in the old days. Nothing like bragging about the powers you have in WOW for impressing the ladies. A real ice breaker, yeah that's the ticket

matrix86 matrix86 said:

captaincranky said:

When will World of Warcraft become a legal right? Its just so necessary! Teenage boys are deprived and feel like killing themselves when they have to walk away from the game!

Maybe they ought to go out and try to get laid, just like in the old days. Nothing like bragging about the powers you have in WOW for impressing the ladies. A real ice breaker, yeah that's the ticket

23 y/o Guy: Hello ladies. I'm a level 97 elf lord with a broad sword and 10,000 gold pieces. Wanna a see a picture of my pet dragon that I captured and trained? Yup...it was tough, but i'm pretty brave and fearless. I almost died...but i'm good so I didn't. Wanna go back to my place and touch my broad sword? My parents are away for the weekend so we can have the whole house and not just the basement.

Girl: ..........................my phone's ringing. Gotta go. *walks away*

Guy: But I didn't hear any ringing......yeah, she wants me. *goes back and tells the story differently to his friends*

Guest said:

here in Egypt 4mbp is about 70$

Guest said:

I live in NY and I am getting 25Mb/s symmetrical from Verizon FIOS for only $30 a month and in a few months they are upping that plan to 35Mb/s symmetrical for the same price.

Cable is the way to go if you want to pay at least $20-30 more than what the speeds are worth.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/869211159.png

Guest said:

How about 3kbs for downloads, yes that's 3KB/S NOT MB! Just to access and reply on this site took more than 15 minutes. Now we have a government that wants to censor our internet access. This speed is ,of course, for dial up and the excuse for not being able to provide broadband is that I live in a remote location. All of 15 minutes from Canberra, Australia's capital city, and 5 minutes (3 kilometres) from our local telephone exchange! Australia really is a 3rd world country where you can drink the water.

Gars Gars said:

Guest said:

I live in NY and I am getting 25Mb/s symmetrical from Verizon FIOS for only $30 a month and in a few months they are upping that plan to 35Mb/s symmetrical for the same price.

Cable is the way to go if you want to pay at least $20-30 more than what the speeds are worth.

http://www.speedtest.net/result/869211159.png

finally some1 mention it

here in Bulgaria, i pay $12 for 10Mb/s download and 1,5Mb/s upload - thats at home

at work i got 3Mb/s symmetrical speed and my boss pays around $200

Guest said:

Wel what must I say, in Suriname (Caribbean - South America) we pay US$55,- FOR 128mbps.

How sad is that!!!

Guest said:

Sorry I meant 128kbps!!!!!! @ US$55,-

snail speed internet, still not ashamed to put a price tag on it!!!

Guest said:

"Amazing...everyone in the world thinks everything should be "a right" or free. "

You're missing the point... Point is that more and more of public services are going to the internet here, and I think it's a good idea. I just applied a form to one of the services, all online, without useless bureaucracy or waiting in line in some sweaty office. Couple of clicks and that's it. You can even make your taxes in internet, very simply and with good ui and security. It increases efficency and lowers the cost of public service, and at the same time, make people aware of all the rights and social securities they can have - and apply them in less than 10 minutes. Isn't that worth it?

I don't understand notion that government is your "enemy". It's nothing else than social network designed to be your assistant. That's what this is all about.

Guest said:

Another example is that even police is going online. You can report a crime online, and even the youth's most popular internet social network site irc-galleria (almost every teenager in finland has an account there) have there coppers working with young there, to whom they can just chat with privately if they have something that bothers them and can't deal with themselves, like harassing. These are kind of the services you'd like your government make. The list just goes on here, that's why it's important that everyone has access to them, anytime.

Guest said:

South Africa 3Mbps to 7.2Mbps $55 (Mobile), 1-4Mbps (Fixed Line) $75+.

Wish I had 18Mbps for $55.

Guest said:

no- they don't - you have to pay yourself for internet in Finland. Also Internet connection is not secure- anyone can reed your personal info- if they know basic of IT security.

Guest said:

Who claim internet is expensive in their country? It cost $1,440 to get 256kbps in Nigeria. Are you an ISP who can provide something cheaper, Nigeria is a good market? new2comli@yahoo.com

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