Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Legal Right to Broadband!

At the beginning of this month, everyone in Finland has been given the legal right to broadband service making it equivalent to a utility available to most everyone in developed countries. The Finnish law means that from 1 July all telecommunications companies will be obliged to provide all residents with broadband lines that can run at a minimum 1 Mbps speed and has vowed to connect everyone to a 100 Mbps connection by 2015.

It is believed up to 96% of the population are already online and that only about 4,000 homes still need connecting to comply with the law so they are much closer to realizing this goal than any other country. Of course, they are in Nokia-land where wireless is their second language.

In the UK, the government has promised a minimum connection of at least 2 Mbps to all homes by 2012 but has stopped short of making this a right in law. The US broadband plan is being developed and funded but the broadband penetration is only about 64% so it is far behind Finland while S. Korea enjoys the fastest broadband speeds worldwide.

1 comment:

  1. This is what happens when government invent "rights" that leave the realm of legitimate negative rights.
    Nothing can be a "right" if it requires someone else to do something for you. The only reasonable exception is the trial by a jury of one's peers. This often requires someone to lose a day or more of pay while serving.
    But telling a private company what type of service they must provide steps far over that line.
    In rural USA, such a mandate would require spending $millions to connect a handful of rural shacks. Currently rural homes opt not to connect cable because they have to pay the cost of connection. But they can get satellite TV and wireless broadband without buying copper wire.