Finland makes broadband a ‘legal right’

BBC News

Finland has become the first country in the world to make broadband a legal right for every citizen.

From 1 July every Finn will have the right to access to a 1Mbps (megabit per second) broadband connection.

Finland has vowed to connect everyone to a 100Mbps connection by 2015.

In the UK the government has promised a minimum connection of at least 2Mbps to all homes by 2012 but has stopped short of enshrining this as a right in law.

The Finnish deal means that from 1 July all telecommunications companies will be obliged to provide all residents with broadband lines that can run at a minimum 1Mbps speed.
Broadband commitment

Speaking to the BBC, Finland’s communication minister Suvi Linden explained the thinking behind the legislation: “We considered the role of the internet in Finns everyday life. Internet services are no longer just for entertainment.

Finland has worked hard to develop an information society and a couple of years ago we realised not everyone had access,” she said.

It is believed up to 96% of the population are already online.

In the UK internet penetration stands at 73%.

The British government has agreed to provide everyone with a minimum 2Mbps broadband connection by 2012 but it is a commitment rather than a legally binding ruling.

“The UK has a universal service obligation which means virtually all communities will have broadband,” said a spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Making broadband a legal right could have implications for countries that plan tough action on illegal file-sharing.

Both the UK and France have said they may cut off or limit the internet connections of people who persistently download music or films for free.

The Finnish government has adopted a more gentle approach.

“We will have a policy where operators will send letters to illegal file-sharers but we are not planning on cutting off access,” said Ms Linden.

A poll conducted for the BBC World Service earlier this year found that almost four in five people around the world believed that access to the internet is a fundamental right.

  1. #1 by rahmanwang on Thursday, 1 July 2010 - 4:14 pm

    If Malaysia makes it a legal right to have broadband connection to it’s citizens then it will be the fall of the BN government.Why I say this?Well we will not be subjected to all these false news by the government controlled newspapers.We will be watching the ‘real’ news on the internet e.g Youtube.Oh how many Malaysians can afford Unifi fiber optic cheapest at RM149 per month whereby the average income is Rm3000 per month.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Thursday, 1 July 2010 - 5:04 pm

    //From 1 July every Finn will have the right to access to a 1Mbps (megabit per second) broadband connection.//

    From 1 July, every bolehlander gets a step nearer to the imposition of GST plus removal of subsidies. So don’t compare apples with (rotten)oranges. Ever heard of Perkosa, nep, “pendatangs” and tuans in Finland?

  3. #3 by Winston on Thursday, 1 July 2010 - 5:23 pm

    By July 1, we’ll be a step nearer bankruptcy.

  4. #4 by Godfather on Thursday, 1 July 2010 - 6:12 pm

    According to Malaysian standards “broadband” is whatever that allows people to get on to the internet. They keep the download speed to within 5 kps so that the rakyat will simply give up when trying to download from Youtube or from other sources. Why make it easy for everyone in the kampung to witness the truth ?

  5. #5 by Bunch of Suckers on Thursday, 1 July 2010 - 7:15 pm

    According to my nephew,

    Currently, Australia is having ADSL2+ with speed of 24Mbps capped with 180Gbyte of downloads (90G Peak + 90G Off-Peak, shaped to 1Mbps speed only if downloads over the limit. Restoring back to 24Mbps in the following month) with only AUD$49.99 monthly. Also, AUD$14.99 monthly for your Mobile capped with AUD$300 FREE Calls (International and local – Voice, SMS, MMS & data) if you have legitimate ADSL2+ Internet Account with this (Any skepticism, check it out and visit .

    Over there, they have over eight private ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to compete with slashing prices…. Of course, Wii Fii and other wireless types are fully available. This is would shut our Changehole (Chengho, an UMNOputra disguised as Chinese sporting Chinese name, Chengho)…

    The current Labor Government, fulfilled its promised Election Agenda, is spending, upgrading and boosting the Internet Speed to 100Mbps ~ 1Gbps nationwide with its National Budget of AUD$45billions over 5 years. This boosting project already began recently. The simple and fast Wireless is available using the current Mobile Broadcaster stations existing and locating everywhere nationally. You can surf internet aboard trains, buses, ferries and anywhere…

    If you have children studying from Grade 10 onward, you can claim back half of total amount spent on purchasing any brand new notebook for them each individually from the Government. Every school is equipped with wireless (Wii Fi) & wired Internet with superfast speed and Labs are opening during school hours and days….

    What about our Telekom with turtle broadband speed & high monthly fees and pretty low capped download of 30G for around RM$150…. Overall, the connections and services are often interrupted and disconnected without any good reasons….

  6. #6 by yhsiew on Thursday, 1 July 2010 - 10:13 pm

    Najib’s government should emulate Finland to make broadband a “legal right” for every Malaysian lest the Malays blame the Chinese for being too competitive because they (Chinese) can afford to have access to broadband.

  7. #7 by boh-liao on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 2:51 am

    Yeah, UmnoB/BN just cannot allow all M’sians 2 hv access 2 free broadband n chat n read digital news rather than d gomen-controlled msm

    When all M’sians hv access 2 free broadband, UmnoB/BN will pass a new law: It’s illegal 4 5 or more ppl 2 chat on d Internet without prior police permit; no permit, tangkap, charged n fined or jailed

  8. #8 by Indran on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 4:51 pm

    Broadband access is a already a necessity like other utilities. We have a few operators vying for our money but the main irritating concern for us is the connection. In Singapore, you can access at less than 1 Mbps for less than S$20 and there is no interruption of service. On the other hand, here we have to pay about RM 150 for 4 Mbps and we cannot be assured of 24-7 connection. This is unacceptable. Imagine the downtime for businesses and netpreneurs who depend on broadband for their livelihood.
    Can we mandate the government to provide 24-7 connection? How do we go about doing it? Why is this not one of the Key Results Area?

  9. #9 by limkamput on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 5:53 pm

    We have our Multi-Media Super Corridor announced in the early 90s. Today even a nincompoop province in a nincompoop country has better internet connectivity than Malaysia. Incompetence borne out of mediocrity, what is new.

  10. #10 by kpt99 on Friday, 2 July 2010 - 7:45 pm

    For years i have subscribed streamyx 1 MB but i only received 100+kbps which is only 10% of the expected speed.TM is providing poor service in remote parts of Sarawak.

  11. #11 by PoliticoKat on Saturday, 3 July 2010 - 7:59 am

    People, people calm down. Malaysia is a unique place with a unique way of thinking.

    Malaysia doesn’t have a slow internet connectivity, Malaysia has in fact the very latest antivirus hardware protecting the entire nation.

    Think about it. A computer virus attempts to download itself onto your computer via your internet connection. In nations like Finland, a few seconds and it is there, in your machine, corrupting all your precious data.

    But in Malaysia we have the the “‘Jalur lebar”. As this hostile virus begin to cross the “Jalur lebar” you internet connections lags out. The virus fails, being to fat and big to cross our Malaysia “Jaur Lebar” And if the virus tries to email itself to all your friends, the process would be so slow that you could warn all your friend via telephone or pos that your computer has been infected.

  12. #12 by HARGA diri on Sunday, 4 July 2010 - 11:25 am

    Many are borned with five senses or six. This means we are created to communicate; more or less according to existing situations. Therefore it is not just a right. We start off wanting to compete with the first world with our multimedia super corridor. Now if we want to win over them, we have to do a better job than them.

  13. #13 by PoliticoKat on Sunday, 4 July 2010 - 12:07 pm

    HARGA diri :
    . We start off wanting to compete with the first world with our multimedia super corridor. Now if we want to win over them, we have to do a better job than them.

    HARGE diri, it may come as a surprise to you, but when the Multimedia supercorridor was first launched, what little that was built initially was actually more advance than many developed nations. We actually had better hardware, so much better that Bill Gates actually came to visit.

    However like all things Malaysian, rather then press forward like a giant, we didn’t do a thing. Malaysia spent several billion on a bumiputra company to make fiber optics that never did anything. And we paid billions for a microchip factor that only ever built a 2micrometer chip which was never sold to the public (just one generation behind Intel at that time.).

    So yeah. Malaysia was a contender. But decided to do drugs and party instead of working out and winning the title belt.

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