Finland makes broadband a legal right

Many people consider having broadband access a privilege but if you live in Finland, it has become a legal right. Starting in July 2010 it will be a legal right for every person to have a broadband connection of at least 1Mb and by 2015 everyone will have access to a 100Mb connection.

While not the first country to make broadband a legal right -- that title goes to the Swiss-- it does show a growing trend of how integrated broadband technologies are into our lives.

Not much else is known about the new law that will make broadband a legal right. Such that, is it a crime to prohibit someone from accessing broadband or can you ban certain persons from broadband?

Regardless of what the legal right actually entails, it is notable that the government is actively trying to give every one of its citizens an equal opportunity to have broadband access in their homes. For reference the population of Finland is 5.24 million people while New York, New York was 8.3 million as of July 2007.

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Finland The land of high taxes. No thanks you can have your broadband, I would rather spend my money the way I see fit .

Yeah, but you don't exactly see people flocking out of Finland do you? From all the world wide research I've seen, Finland seems to be a country that ranks top in nearly everything positive. Good health care, low crime rate, few joblosses, education, lack of corruption and good financial security.

Finland, like the other Scandi countries, are pleasant places to live in. All people think of is taxes, but you sometimes have to look at what ends up in your hands, and sometimes high tax don't mean much if you have a higher salary or that you don't need to spend on things as much as you would have needed elsewhere.

Mekun said,
Finland The land of high taxes. No thanks you can have your broadband, I would rather spend my money the way I see fit .


Let me guess... Republican...sigh

Refer to a comment above.

Basically, you have a right to a telephone line, electricity, clean water supply with a price. Basically, if you pay for internet, you have the right to 10mb just as you expect the water you pay for is clean or that you have a stable electricity supply as opposed to one that have occasional but consistent blackouts.

So hence, this right means everyone must have reliable internet that is at least 10mb. For some people, it makes no difference since they already got high speed. Others may not have the speed, fullstop, or that have unreliable/slow speed, the law makes it a right to have that speed.

Solid Knight said,
...How is that a right then?

I'd say that the people that could formerly not even get 1 Mbps where they live, would now call this a right, if they're now guaranteed it.

That's what this article is all about. I'm not sure what's so complicated here. Nowhere are we speaking of FREE INTERNETS.

Hm... I wish the US would do something like this. When you're out in the country, there's not much in the way of fast internet available...

"by 2015 everyone will have access to a 100Mb connection."

There are about 8-9 people living in Finland anyway, shouldn't be that hard giving them each a 100mb connection.

soulosis said,
2009 estimate 5,346,927
2000 census 5,180,000

Youre either retarded or bad at trying to make jokes :)


The only one retarded is people like you coming up with answers like that when someone claims that 8-9 people are living in Finland....sigh

15 euros for unlimited download/upload on fiber optics from the company i work at... ofcourse i'd have to add that i live in one of 9 countries that are ready for "tomorrows internet"

BanneD said,
15 euros for unlimited download/upload on fiber optics from the company i work at... ofcourse i'd have to add that i live in one of 9 countries that are ready for "tomorrows internet" :)

Damn it, I don't understand why the United States is called the world's most advanced country when we can't even match the broadband speed and prices of other countries. It sucks, I have a 728kb connection and I pay for this crap $22 dollars.

Basically what it means for us Finns is that folks living in the countryside will have access to half-decent net speed instead of anything from modems to 256k or 512k crap. The price will probably still be pretty high compared to what we city-dwellers can get.

For the record I'm on a 100/100 Mbps connection in Helsinki. If the government had invested in proper broadband like Sweden instead of useless digital TV we'd have nice connections at least all around the metropolitan area rather than only in small specific places like where I live.

I live in Iran. I wish I lived in South Korea because it has the broadest internet connections.

Here in Iran having a 0.5 Mbit connection at least costs you 15$ per month and you can only download 3 GigaByte per month. If you are going to download unlimited with 0.5 Mbit per second you have to pay some hundred dollars per month.

Here less than one percent have 0.5 MBit connections and the other people have lower connection. 90 percent here have dial-up connection which means 56Kbit and just 10 percent have ADSL connection. Our country is very poor in internet and sites like Facebook, twitter and many other are censored. Even One of the neowin news related to teen opinions about steve jobs is censored here because it has the word teen.

Countries keep using this word... I do not think it means what you think it means...

"rights" are not things that require the money / effort of others to grant... right is something you'd have if no outside force was acting against you...

Rolith said,
Countries keep using this word... I do not think it means what you think it means...

"rights" are not things that require the money / effort of others to grant... right is something you'd have if no outside force was acting against you...


Huh, what are you talking about? Are you saying there's no extra effort on behalf of the ISP's to guarantee everyone in the country can get at least a 1 Mbps connection?? I'd say that this will take quite some extra government funding if the costs won't be pushed to the customers instead.

There isn't much information about what this right entitles...

Are the governments supposed to provide the population with at least the 1mb connection?

ajua said,
There isn't much information about what this right entitles...

Are the governments supposed to provide the population with at least the 1mb connection?

No. Having running water, telephone, etc, is also a legal right in most countries if I'm not mistaken. I think the implications are that if somebody wants a broadband internet connection, at least SOMEBODY has to be providing the service.

Julius Caro said,

No. Having running water, telephone, etc, is also a legal right in most countries if I'm not mistaken. I think the implications are that if somebody wants a broadband internet connection, at least SOMEBODY has to be providing the service.

In designated residential, commercial, and industrial areas, correct? You can't decide to move to a remote region and demand broadband.

Also, aren't there 1mb "connections" available via satellite? Basically, pass the legislation and say DONE!

n_K said,
"while New York, New York was"
New york new york ? Eh?

I think he meant New York City... it's just a odd way to say it.
Now, regarding the topic, I am FREAKING jealous. This has no chance to happen in ISP-monopoly-controlled-Canada

djesteban said,

I think he meant New York City... it's just a odd way to say it.
Now, regarding the topic, I am FREAKING jealous. This has no chance to happen in ISP-monopoly-controlled-Canada

New York, NY is how you refer to Manhattan in an address...
for example:
1 Main St
New York, NY 10001

but the population mentioned is for all of NYC, including the other 4 boroughs (brooklyn, queens, bronx, staten island)

n_K said,
There's a new york state and a new york town, both with the exact same name? Mildly confusing

This, since the creation, has been like this.

New York state
New York city

New York, New York.

djesteban said,
This has no chance to happen in ISP-monopoly-controlled-Canada


You mean phone line (read "Bell") monopoly...

Not really, as the internet becomes a replacement to mail. In many countries you submit your income taxes via the web. Now add banking, education, etc. It now becomes a utility, just like telephone, water, electricity, etc. It does not mean free...

PureLegend said,
What an odd right.

It's a bit like a right to get TV or radio reception, just taken to 2009. This can be very important to have in various emergency circumstances, not to mention informing yourself about your country, in the form of news and politics, or interacting with your local area. I don't think it's that odd, just that we may still be a bit unadjusted to the idea. Not so in 2020 though, I bet.

neufuse said,
what's spelled wrong besides not apostrophe in it's?


id like to know too, the ' in it's i debated, becuase it is doesnt fit in that location

MB is wrong. If you go to the link of the news from gizmodo which is provided in the news text, you see there is written "one-megabit" and also "a hundred megabits". So MB is wrong and Mb ( with small b ) is correct.

I think everyone knows b is the abbreviation for bit and B is the abbreviation for Byte.

I've seen this article all over but it really doesn't come with much information.

Does this simply mean that broadband companies must offer 1MB+ connections to everyone who wishes to pay for one, or that the connection itself is paid for by the government?

it would be paid by the user, you wouldnt need to have internet if you didnt want it but the providers would have to provide at least a 1MB or faster connection and eventually provide a 100MB connection though again yes you would need to pay for that

im not sure though if they would be required with the 100MB service if the actual internet link to be 100MB or just a minimum capacity of 100MB so they could utilize it if having enough bandwidth

This will be exactly like phone lines, gas, electricity and water currently are. You have to pay for the service, but everyone will have to able to receive the service with a minimum quality of service, in this case 1mbps.

What if, theoretically, I live waaay out in the country by myself where there is no coverage? Does this mean the carrier is forced to run a line out there just for me? Who pays for it?

jordan. said,
What if, theoretically, I live waaay out in the country by myself where there is no coverage? Does this mean the carrier is forced to run a line out there just for me? Who pays for it?

This is Finland. It's decent sized, but it's still only about half the size of Texas.

M2Ys4U said,
This will be exactly like phone lines, gas, electricity and water currently are. You have to pay for the service, but everyone will have to able to receive the service with a minimum quality of service, in this case 1mbps.


Exactly. I dont understand how people cannot understand the article.

The service is NOT free but you have to have it legally.
I believe this should be international law.

they are gettign 100mbps not 100MB

100mbps network interface is capable of transferring ~12.5 megabytes per second. so thats very fast connection.

And so do us Australians. In fact, the government has decided to splurge $52 billion of our tax payer dollars to lay out some cables rather than let the privatised companies do it. Amazingly, they rely on the hopes of a privatised company/ies to buy it out when its completed. The only company that realistically could was Testra, but they decided to split them up due to them being a monopoly. To put this in perspective, this could be better spent on education and hospitals which are poorly degrading, almost close to third world countryies. Weird how a Governments mind works.

Mandator said,
And here in the UK we get taxed on using broadband!

Did the possibility of people in Finland paying higher taxes on earnings etc cross your mind at all?

Mandator said,
And here in the UK we get taxed on using broadband!

A whopping £0.50, truly a cruel tax.
Don't you have anything else to whine about?

Billus said,
And so do us Australians. In fact, the government has decided to splurge $52 billion of our tax payer dollars to lay out some cables rather than let the privatised companies do it. Amazingly, they rely on the hopes of a privatised company/ies to buy it out when its completed. The only company that realistically could was Testra, but they decided to split them up due to them being a monopoly. To put this in perspective, this could be better spent on education and hospitals which are poorly degrading, almost close to third world countryies. Weird how a Governments mind works.

Wow... you really need to get your facts right or at least research your information before spouting nonsense.

VWW said,
Wow... you really need to get your facts right or at least research your information before spouting nonsense.

Hmmm, yea okay, how's this for starters: http://tvnz.co.nz/technology-news/aust-bui...network-2624780. Try looking around in a variety of newspapers and on the internet to get a broader picture rather than relying on left leaning media outlets to get your information. It is going to be a complete utter failure, why do you think the government sold off its communication lines in the first place?

Billus said,
And so do us Australians. In fact, the government has decided to splurge $52 billion of our tax payer dollars to lay out some cables rather than let the privatised companies do it. Amazingly, they rely on the hopes of a privatised company/ies to buy it out when its completed. The only company that realistically could was Testra, but they decided to split them up due to them being a monopoly. To put this in perspective, this could be better spent on education and hospitals which are poorly degrading, almost close to third world countryies. Weird how a Governments mind works.

Yeah, its weird how some people's mind works.... It was the private sector that got you into your current mess as it is. Your faith in them is truly religious in its oblivion towards reality.

I get a big laugh from people like you. You're always going on about your rights and freedoms, but when others gain more you whine like a baby that they shouldn't have any.....

Brodel said,
Did the possibility of people in Finland paying higher taxes on earnings etc cross your mind at all?

Yea it did, but this article isn't about taxes on earning.

Lord Ba'al said,
A whopping £0.50, truly a cruel tax.
Don't you have anything else to whine about?

Wow, I wasn't talking about how cruel the tax is, I was only stating how the two countries have different views on broadband and how they want to deal with it. And no, I don't have anything else to whine about, im quite happy today.

Brodel said,
Did the possibility of people in Finland paying higher taxes on earnings etc cross your mind at all?

You don't realize that it costs to live in a properly functioning and civilized society. Right now in America because of massive tax cuts, and deregulation, 70% of their roads and bridges are deemed unsafe, the education system is ranked very low, etc, etc. The American Dream is failing. Hopefully Obama can reverse this trend before it is too late.

None of these peoples in other nations, that are properly functioning, are going without as much as Americans are. Quality of life in these nations is quite high in comparison.

http://www.canada.com/business/Canada+four...7674/story.html