Finland has officially become the first nation in the world, to make broadband connectivity a legal right. Every Finn will now be legally entitled to access 1Mbps broadband connection. The new law provides that all telecommunication companies will be liable to provide all citizens with broadband connections, with a speed of minimum 1Mbps. It is estimated that 96 percent of the country’s total population, already has internet access. Around 4, 000 residences still need internet connection to comply with the law. Further, the government has committed to connect every residence to a 100Mbps connection by 2015.
Broadband Access is Now a Legal Right of Every Finn
The Communication Minister, Suvi Linden, explained the purpose of the new legislation that extends the legal rights of Finns. She said that the Internet is an indispensable part of everyday life and it is no longer confined to entertainment purposes. In addition, she said that the country has worked diligently to develop an information society. Also, Finland has realized that not everyone has access to the Internet.
However, the new law will also impose some liabilities on Finland, such as taking tough action on illegal file-sharing and combating net piracy. The government plans to send letters to illegal file-sharers, it does not intend to cut off the internet connection. This gentle approach of the government has been subjected to criticism.
Final Legal Take Away Tip: At present, about 73 percent of the UK population has internet connection. The UK government has vowed to provide every citizen with a minimum 2 Mbps broadband connection, by 2012. However, it is just a commitment and not a legal obligation amounting to legal right. Further, the British government plans to cut off and restrict the internet connections of the defaulters, for free music or movie downloading.