If you’ve noticed a few more Fins on Xbox Live, here’s why. Moving high-speed internet from privilege to right, Finland became the first country in the world this week to legally require every household in the country be provided with access.
The law passed last week required internet providers to connect every home in Finland with at least 1MPS (megabit per second) access by July 1, and Finnish authorities are pushing to make 100MPS access available to all by 2015. It further deems high-speed access a “legal right” for citizens, putting in place civil and criminal penalties for disruption of service.
In a BBC interview, Finland’s Communication Minister, Suvi Linden, explained the thinking behind the legislation, “We considered the role of the internet in Finns everyday life….Finland has worked hard to develop an information society and a couple of years ago we realised not everyone had access.”
Linden also addressed the question of piracy on government-mandated access. “We will have a policy where operators will send letters to illegal file-sharers but we are not planning on cutting off access,” she said, in stark contrast to England and France where violators are disconnected quickly and permanently.
England had also planned to roll out a national broadband requisited by 2012, but recent budget cuts have almost certainly postponed, if not doomed, the prospect.
[via BBC News]