As world first, Finland makes broadband service basic right

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Finland on Thursday became the first country in the world to make access to a broadband service a basic right, ensuring that a high-speed Internet connection is available to all Finns, a government official said.

"Today the universal service obligation concerning Internet access of one Megabit per second (Mbit/s) has entered into force," Olli-Pekka Rantala of the communications networks unit at the ministry of transport and communications said.

"It is our understanding that we have become the first in the world to have made broadband a basic right," he added.

The tech-savvy Nordic country amended its communications market act last year to make sufficient Internet access a universal service, such as the telephone and postal services.

It was later determined by the ministry of communications "that what is meant by sufficient Internet access ... is one Megabit per second." Rantala said.

As of July 1, service providers in Finland are thus obligated to provide a one Mbit/s connection to all Finnish households, regardless of their location.

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