Finland Makes Broadband Access a Legal Right

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News Posted: Thu, Oct 15 2009 3:57 PM
Finland's Ministry of Transport and Communications has made 1 mbps broadband access a legal right, according to YLE, the country's national broadcasting company. This makes Finland the first country to take this step.

Even better, 1 mbps access is just an intermediary step. Earlier, Finland had set a goal of 2015 for 100 mbps broadband access as a legal right.  The access to 1 mbps broadband will become effective in July of 2010.

Interestingly, some countries have already made Internet access a human right, but Finland is the first to make it a legal one.

Some may pooh-pooh this, as Finland has a population of about 5.3 million. America has cities larger than that. But it begs the question: if a country of 5.3 million can do this, why can't cities in America as well? And why hasn't America embraced the idea of the Internet as a human right?
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What does it mean by "legal right?"

Is it going to be free for everyone? Are Finnish IPs going to be required to provide 1mbps access to every citizen? What exactly are we talking about here?

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kid007 replied on Thu, Oct 15 2009 5:43 PM

i'm moving to finland and i could not only enjoy a higher speed but also i could join the drifting team :p i heard is a national sport :)

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Oct 16 2009 7:25 PM

Maybe they mean: An ISP can't cut you off just because the RIAA or some other entity accuses you of illegal behavior.

Of course, you can still lose legal rights if found guilty in court. Just ask a felon where his rights to bear arms went.

More likely, it's just a lofty way of saying that ISPs have to provide broadband in every area they serve.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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