Internet Access Now a Legal Right in Finland

Telecom companies must bring speedy broadband to all
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2009 8:57 AM CDT
A woman surfs the Internet in the m-bar Internet cafe January 3, 2003 in downtown Helsinki, Finland.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – In Finland, broadband access isn’t a privilege, it’s a right. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has pushed through a law requiring telecom companies to offer speeds of at least 1 megabit per second to all of the country’s 5.3 million citizens. While 96% of Finland’s population is already online, the communications minister tells the Guardian that the mandate will improve access in rural areas.

The government committed to universal access last year, and this is just the first step in its plan; by 2015, they hope to bump the requirement to a whopping 100Mb-per-second.