Finland: Introducing Internet broadband as a universal service

By EDRi · October 21, 2009

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Deutsch: [Finnland: Breitbandinternet als ein Allgemeindienst eingeführt |]

According to a decree issued by the Finish Ministry of Transport and
Communications, starting with 1 July 2010, a 1 Mbit Internet connection will
be defined as a requirement of the Universal Service. Thus, Finland becomes
the first country in the world to make access to broadband Internet a legal

The decree states that by the end of 2009, the Finnish Communications
Regulatory Authority will establish which of the telecom operators will be
imposed this universal service obligation. The designated universal service
providers will have to be able to provide access for all residential or
business users, at a reasonable price, to a high-quality connection of at
least 1 Mbit/s. The providers may choose themselves the technology used to
provide the service. The average speed of downstream traffic must be at
least 75 per cent of the required speed in a 24 hour period. While in a four
hour measuring period the average speed must be at least 59 per cent of the
required speed.

Ms Suvi Lindén, Finland’s Minister of Communications, believes that high
speed access to everybody will improve people’s quality of life especially
in the less populated areas, will boost business, enable electronic
communications and encourage online banking.

Finland is already amongst the first countries in the world from the point
of view of access to Internet connection. According to Laura Vilkkonen, the
legislative counselor for the Ministry of Transport and Communications,
about 95 percent of the population have some sort of Internet access. She
also stated that the one-megabit requirement is only an intermediary step as
the target is to reach speeds of up to 100 megabit per second for all by

“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.

Access to a minimum of 1 Mbit Internet connection available to everyone in
Finland by July 2010 (16.10.2009)

Finland makes broadband access a legal right (14.10.2009)

Fast Internet access becomes a legal right in Finland (15.10.2009)