Finland Makes 1Mbps Internet A "Basic Right" For Every Citizen

You may assume that you have no real reason to thank Finland today, but you do. If you're an avid Internet user, you owe the first nation to make broadband service a basic right a great deal of gratitude, because without them being first, there's no telling how long it would've taken for some other country to finally pull the trigger. That's right: while America tries to figure out how to get broadband into rural areas, Finland is moving forward with a far bolder plan that involves giving broadband access to every single citizen.

Obviously, this is a huge undertaking, and it'll involve a great deal of spending in order to make it a reality. The move makes Finland the first nation on the planet to make broadband Internet access a basic right, with the idea being to at least make broadband available to every Finn that would like it. Olli-Pekka Rantala of the communications networks unit at the ministry of transport and communications said the following: "Today the universal service obligation concerning Internet access of one Megabit per second (Mbit/s) has entered into force. It is our understanding that we have become the first in the world to have made broadband a basic right." Preach it!

Starting this month, any Internet provider that operates in Finland will be obligated to provide a 1Mbps connection to all Finnish households, regardless of location. That's certainly a huge thing to ask of ISPs, but there are limitations in place to prevent outrageous extra fees from cropping up. This is a huge, huge move, and it will hopefully spark a lot of copycat movements from other governments. No one wants to lag behind in the race to become the most connected nation in the world, and while Finland is certainly small, it's far from being "tiny." Great job on kicking things off, Finland--now it's time for the rest of the world to follow suit.