Finland First Country to Make High-Speed Internet a Legal Right

October 15, 2009

(ChattahBox)— Finland is one of the most wired countries in the world, but the Finland government isn’t satisfied with its successful march towards technological progress. The Nordic country recently made access to high-speed broadband Internet a legal right, which would require the nation’s telecommunication companies to provide Internet access to every single citizen; all 5.2 million of them, by next summer.

Although, about 95 percent of the country has Internet access, it’s still not universally available in rural areas. The new law will not only ensure rural areas have Web access, but also mandate that it must operate at speeds of at least 1 megabit per second. By 2015, Finland plans to increase the speed requirements to 100 megabit per second.

Laura Vilkkonen, the legislative counselor for the Ministry of Transport and Communications says, high-speed Internet access is a basic right. “We think it’s something you cannot live without in modern society. Like banking services or water or electricity, you need Internet connection,” Vilkkonen said.

France has declared Internet access a human right, which is a stance also supported by the United Nations. But Finland is the first country in the world to make high-speed access a legal right, as well as a human right.

Where does that leave the United States? At the bottom of the barrel. According to a recent study conducted, by the Communications Workers of America, the U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world without a national policy in place, to ensure its citizens have access to high-speed broadband. The study found that 46 percent of rural households don’t have broadband access.

President Obama set aside $7.2 billion in the stimulus package to provide greater access to high-speed Internet, but the total cost for an expansion is estimated to reach $350 billion. The FCC is expected to release a national broadband proposal early next year.

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One Response to “Finland First Country to Make High-Speed Internet a Legal Right”

  1. Finland First Country to Make High-Speed Internet a Legal Right … « All About Internet on October 15th, 2009 9:20 pm

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