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Finland to make broadband a legal right

Finland to make broadband a legal right

The Finnish government has enshrined the right to broadband access in law - and pledges 100Mb/s for all by 2015.

Finland - home of the mobile 'phone giant Nokia - has become the latest country to make access to broadband a legal right, ensuring that every single one of its citizens has an Internet connection of at least 1Mb/s by July 2010.

If that wasn't enough - and let's face it, 1Mb/s is pretty small potatoes these days - the Finnish government has pledged to work toward giving every single home access to a 100Mb/s connection by 2015.

As reported over on Gizmodo, the move is designed to ensure that Finnish citizens don't fall victim to the so-called "digital divide," where well-off citizens have access to all the benefits of the Internet while poorer residents are cut off from the Web and all the opportunity it offers.

While Finland was beaten to the punch by Switzerland, which has already made a similar move to enshrine a legal right to broadband Internet access by ensuring that all citizens would have access to a minimum of 600Kb/s downstream and 100Kb/s upstream by 2008, it's a smart move by the government - and puts the country miles ahead of most European countries, including the UK.

In this country, although broadband isn't yet a right by law, the government is looking to introduce a 50p per month 'phone tax on landline connections which would go to fund further development of the countries broadband infrastructure - bringing faster internet connections to smaller rural areas which would be uneconomical for the providers themselves to develop. Despite this, the project only goes to make broadband available across the country - not to actually provide broadband to UK citizens, who will still have to actually sign up and pay for a connection from a commercial entity if they want to get connected.

Do you believe that the Finnish government's move puts it at the head of developed countries when it comes to understanding how important the Internet is in modern living, or is it daft to call broadband connections a legal right? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

40 Comments

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stonedsurd 15th October 2009, 11:39 Quote
I just saw this on another forum.

I want to live in Finland :(
feedayeen 15th October 2009, 11:43 Quote
(US) - You know, this might be more useful than the Third Amendment to the Bill of Rights.

"No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."
Sleepstreamer 15th October 2009, 11:46 Quote
I'd be surprised if there's still an open internet worth talking about in 2015.
VipersGratitude 15th October 2009, 12:03 Quote
antiHero 15th October 2009, 12:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedsurd
I just saw this on another forum.

I want to live in Finland :(

Just move here :D


Another reason why i love this country.
24mb/s connections are pretty much the standard nowadays but thats only if you live in the bigger cities. Dunno how the wanne accomplish that out in the woods (90% of Finland).
shanky887614 15th October 2009, 12:16 Quote
yeah but this speed still isnt that impresive when you look at japan
most of the country is on fireoptic
and i think speeds of 100mb/s
stonedsurd 15th October 2009, 12:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by antiHero
Just move here :D


Another reason why i love this country.
24mb/s connections are pretty much the standard nowadays but thats only if you live in the bigger cities. Dunno how the wanne accomplish that out in the woods (90% of Finland).

Is it easy to move there? I'm talking legally and all :p
l3v1ck 15th October 2009, 12:20 Quote
Stupid idea. It's not a right, it's a privilege. It's not like the right to a fair trial or anything like that.
proxess 15th October 2009, 12:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanky887614
yeah but this speed still isnt that impresive when you look at japan
most of the country is on fireoptic
and i think speeds of 100mb/s

That's where I'll be moving to as soon as I can. Tho legally, its extremely difficult.
Bazz 15th October 2009, 12:35 Quote
Never happen in the UK, legal right to the net?? what about all the p2p downloaders?? would be good for them, knowing they would never be kicked off.
M7ck 15th October 2009, 13:00 Quote
I hope this doesnt happen in the uk, the ones that dont want to work get enough handed to them.
Sathy 15th October 2009, 13:30 Quote
Yeah, and in Finland we need the broadbands desperately as polar bears are patrolling our streets 24/7 and it's never above freezing here. HELP!
frojoe 15th October 2009, 13:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by VadimWolf
I hope this doesnt happen in the uk, the ones that dont want to work get enough handed to them.

You still have to pay in full for the connection, its just saying everyone should have it available.

Obama has called for a chunk of the stimulus money to be spent on moving broadband to rural areas where there aren't enough customers for the cable companies to do it by their own choice. It would be similar to the rural electrification administration where the governess made electrical connections available to rural areas. Its a great idea in my book, as the internet is becoming more and more important each day.
SMIFFYDUDE 15th October 2009, 15:17 Quote
I dream of 1Mb/s broadband. Damn this backward island.
chrisb2e9 15th October 2009, 15:18 Quote
woot! go canada go! I love my 3mb/s!!! **** you telus!
Javerh 15th October 2009, 15:49 Quote
Nowaydays I don't even think about my net speed. A few years back it was somewhere around 10Mbps.

In Finnish media, Finland is generally considered to be behind other EU-countries in IT matters.
adidan 15th October 2009, 17:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Javerh
In Finnish media, Finland is generally considered to be behind other EU-countries in IT matters.
Although you do spend about 3.5% GDP on Research and Development which is already higher than the EU's planned 3% that they want member States to achieve.

Moro.
Star*Dagger 15th October 2009, 17:55 Quote
Basic Human Rights : Food, clothing, shelter, education, vocation, medical care, vacation time, internet access.

There are also the civilizational human rights that pertain to right to a trial, legal representation, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, equality for all under the law, right to assembly and redress of grievances.

Yours in Rights Plasma,
Star*Dagger
infered101 15th October 2009, 18:48 Quote
See i think less about covering everyone and more about actually making it my internet. My provider gives me a 15mb/s connection but they throttle it if i sue to much. Like if i host an online game my connection speeds drops as am using to much for an extended period of time. More control over the companies that provide internet is better in my book then giving people that live in the boonies (for a reason) high speed internet.
Star*Dagger 15th October 2009, 18:51 Quote
You can not ( or should not be able to) throttle a Right.
Make sure that you read the fine print and ask them specifically in writing (and get the response in writing) as regards to throttling.
If you have a choice go with another company, if not explain to them that what they are doing is illegal or at very least unethical.
LucusLoC 16th October 2009, 01:23 Quote
@star*dagger: what, no right to self defence or defence of loved ones?

iternet, food, clothing, shelter, education (unless it is self education) and medical care are all things ther require effort on the part of someone else (unless you do it yourself). for that reason they cannot be a basic human right. if they are then you are saying it is a basic human right to exploit another human to provide for your needs (or not, internet is not a survival issue). you shold always have a right to have opportunity get yourt own, but you should never have the right to forcefuly take it. sucess in the matter is up to the individual.

things like free speach, freedom of vocation, freedom to defend oneself, freedom to participate in government (right to assembly), equity under the law, and the freedom to pursue (not be given, mind you) happyness are all thing that are basic rights, and do not require the labors of others.

now there are things that need to be given for the common good, like provinding a fair legal system, provide for the common defence, and provide a fair and competative market place, but all of those require verry little be given from each individual, and benifit all. what is mostly needed is just enough to maintain a simple set of laws and a well stocked military. say about 7 to 10% GDP for the lot. when you satrt getting into providing shelter, food, medical care, internet etc. you get into the 40-60% + GDP. that and the fact that you take away any motivaation to work. if i have food, shelter and internet, what motivation do i have to work? that is all my basic needs + entertainment. scratch one productive memeber of society right there.
ZERO <ibis> 16th October 2009, 03:16 Quote
In the us it is more like oh here is 100mb internet but oh if you want to transfer more than 10gb then we are going to need an extra 1g$

Also who needs freedom or liberty when you can have things given to you for FREE! I mean the people in the USSR and in Italy and Germany 70 years ago were way better off.
null_x86 16th October 2009, 04:08 Quote
This is good. Finland is basically sticking it to the man, with how the EU laws are doing the three strike thing, they say no. Nice Finland! +1 Now only if USA would get the idea.. whats that, USA is now like China? crap...
time to move.
antiHero 16th October 2009, 07:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedsurd
Is it easy to move there? I'm talking legally and all :p

If you are a EU member its pretty easy as you have the right to work in any EU country of your choice. If you are not a EU member than its lil harder as you only get a residents permit if you have a job. Or you ask for asylum.

I know a lot of foreigners who moved here for various reasons and most of them sad its pretty hassle free. On the other hand learning finnish is horrible as its a REALLY hard language.
But in basic live you can get by pretty good with english only
DOA Draven 16th October 2009, 09:38 Quote
If the UK Govt puts 50p Phone Tax in place to aid the 'Private Companies' to exand the internet access to remote areas, how long before it goes the same way a Road tax, which is meant to fund the roads and transport infrastructure?
BentAnat 16th October 2009, 10:17 Quote
erm... yah. i wish they'd do something here.
Or just privatise the telecoms market here... that'd work as well.
1Meg.... /dream...
NeedlesKane 16th October 2009, 10:28 Quote
I live in the UK and have 50mb broadband with virgin media. The thought of being able to have installed wherever i move around the country is a nice thought, as i have found myself moving flats a few times recently and its a worrying thought being tied in to a 12 month contract and not being able to use it. last i heard virgin were piloting a 200mb scheme.
eddtox 16th October 2009, 12:46 Quote
I think this is more interesting as a means of preventing people from being banned from the internet rather than giving everybody the internet for free.

Couple of quick thoughts though:
Does this mean access to the whole internet (i.e: if you have basic right to the internet then it is illegal for them to restrict sites?)
What about people who are in prison for computer crimes?

sorry for rambling
frojoe 17th October 2009, 00:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddtox

Couple of quick thoughts though:
Does this mean access to the whole internet (i.e: if you have basic right to the internet then it is illegal for them to restrict sites?)
What about people who are in prison for computer crimes?

I don't think this will stop them from restricting access for anyone breaking the law. Once you break the law, they can take you freedoms away. (ie. prison) They will still end your connection if you hack credit card data, infringe copyright, etc. As far as this stopping them from restricting access to certain sites, do they do that anyway? I havn't heard of anyone besides China and other more extreme governments blocking access to parts of the web, and the individual websites are protected under free speech for the most part. More perfection from the government never hurt though.(that's protecting us from the government, not them providing protection for us)
Cerberus90 17th October 2009, 18:00 Quote
I want to live in Finland too now, :D

And I don't agree with that Digital Divide thing, I mean, we're pretty well off, but as we live in a little village, the internet is pretty crap, 2MB is the fastest we can get.

Can't see the UK gov doing this, I mean they'd have to spend money to do this, so completey out of the question. They'd probably do it if they made anyone who wanted it pay a huge monthly fee, :D, oh wait.
quake1-rules 18th October 2009, 05:00 Quote
I don't know the funding details but don't think that the Finnish aren't paying for it. The Finnish authorities use coercion to get this. The phrase "the end justifies the means" applies here. I know, I know.... You all want it and you want it NOW and you are perfectly willing to sacrifice freedoms for security (of broadband).
frontline 18th October 2009, 15:59 Quote
Damn, the Finnish are so proud of their online gaming skills they are wanting more players to dominate Europe! :)
adidan 18th October 2009, 16:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by quake1-rules
The Finnish authorities use coercion to get this.
To be honest, that sounds like quite a vacuous statement so I'd be interested to know what you mean by that, that is, by what means does this "coercion" manifest itself?
thehippoz 18th October 2009, 18:02 Quote
all I know about finland is.. when I was in highschool, freshman- this hot chick showed up wearing practically lingerie to school.. finland foreign exchange student
Timmy_the_tortoise 18th October 2009, 20:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehippoz
all I know about finland is.. when I was in highschool, freshman- this hot chick showed up wearing practically lingerie to school.. finland foreign exchange student

Sounds sweet.

I love Finland.
Sir Digby 18th October 2009, 20:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehippoz
all I know about finland is.. when I was in highschool, freshman- this hot chick showed up wearing practically lingerie to school.. finland foreign exchange student

Um, wouldn't she be 12 if she was a high school freshman? :|
thehippoz 18th October 2009, 22:59 Quote
lol maybe in england digby.. you guys have 12 year old freshman?

I remember she lived in the same complex we did.. even went over her place once with my friends to see some artwork =] she used to wear these skimpy almost see through outfits to school.. everyone used to gawk

there was a family from england in our complex too- nice people
Sir Digby 18th October 2009, 23:11 Quote
In the first year of secondary school in England we'd have people who are 11 starting.

However I must apologise, I'd assumed that American high school started and ended at the same time that English secondary school + 6th form would. Research suggests different :)
thehippoz 19th October 2009, 00:00 Quote
they still separate the k-6 from 7-8, the elementary kids still get alot of influence (bad influence usually) from the upper grades

I just remember thinking back then- man finland must be awesome rofl could see in my teenage eyes a sea of chicks walking around with see through underwear :D
woody_294 25th October 2009, 02:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by VadimWolf
I hope this doesnt happen in the uk, the ones that dont want to work get enough handed to them.

Yep, I suppose they'd need to buy everyone a computer too....

While we're on the topic, BT = Fail, they've upgraded the entire network, except the bit that goes from the exchange to your house, ****ers.
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