Finland puts right to broadband mandate into action

While U.S. telecom regulators and service providers argue over how to manage networks or what is the best broadband speed, Finland's government is already one upping our country with a mandate that says that broadband should be a legal right.

Finland's telecom regulator FICORA said that all of its 5.3 million residents will be able to get a 1 Mbps connection by July 1, 2 Mbps by 2012 and 100 Mbps service by 2015 as part of its updated Universal Services Obligations (USO). By adding broadband to its USO, Finland will be the only country in the world that legally requires Internet access as a basic right.

FICORA has assigned 26 service providers to provide a broadband connection to business and residential customers in the regions they serve. The regulator suggested these service providers should charge $36 to $48 for each connection.  

However, Finland is not the only country advocating a universal broadband plan. Pakistan is already leveraging its Universal Service Fund (USF) to improve broadband penetration, while Spain's government has mandated a similar measure to begin in 2011. As the FCC tries to shift the focus of the U.S.' USF fund to broadband, perhaps they should take a look and compare notes with the efforts made in Finland, Pakistan, and Spain.

For more:
- TeleGeography has this article

Related articles:
Spain, Finland develop universal broadband plans
FCC wants to refocus USF on broadband access

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