Finland has become the first country in the world to force its ISPs to treat broadband like postal services and telephone connections. From July 1 onwards, every citizen will get access to a reasonably-priced connection with a minimum speed of 1Mbps.
The European nation has done this by introducing new universal service obligations, which are currently provided by Telstra (ASX:TLS) in Australia. Under local digital data service obligations, every Australian is entitled to a reasonably-priced 64Kbps connection.
Australia’s communications minister, Senator Stephen Conroy, recently joined Finland’s communications minister, Suvi Linden, as commissioners on the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which aims to shape the world’s Internet.
According to a statement by the Finnish Government, this is one of its most significant achievements. The country currently has almost 5.4 million residents.
“Telecom operators defined as universal service providers must be able to provide every permanent residence and business office with access,” it said. “Last year the Communications Market Act was amended so that universal service also includes a functional Internet connection.”
Finland is known as a hub for telecommunications and is the home of telco giant, Nokia. Earlier this year, the country began considering whether or not to make accessing open Wi-Fi networks legal.