Broadband becomes a basic right for Finns

1 Jul 2010

Finnish telecoms regulator FICORA has announced that as of today both residential and business users are entitled to a broadband subscription operating at speeds of at least 1Mbps as part of the country’s revised Universal Service Obligations (USO). The addition of broadband to the country’s USOs makes it the first worldwide to mandate high speed internet access as a basic right. According to the regulator, 26 operators have been assigned as universal service providers, with each obliged to provide a broadband connection for those consumers and businesses in their respective regions of operation. With Finland’s Communications Market Act having been updated to legislate that all operators with USO must ‘provide every permanent residence and business office with access to a reasonably priced and high-quality internet connection with a downstream rate of at least 1 Mbps’, FICORA has also suggested that a monthly charge of between EUR30 and EUR40 (USD36.7 and USD48.9) per month would be reasonable in most cases. The regulator, however, has noted that it does not have the power to determine a price cap for a universal service subscription in advance.