Finland has become the first country in the world to adopt broadband as a legal right for all its citizens. From today, a universal service obligation (USO) comes in to force which will see every Finn have the right to access the Internet through a 1Mbps broadband connection. 96% of the 5.2m strong country are believed to already be online.
"We considered the role of the internet in Finns everyday life. Internet services are no longer just for entertainment.
Finland has worked hard to develop an information society and a couple of years ago we realised not everyone had access."Suvi Linden, Finnish Communication Minister
Whilst the UK currently has a universal service commitment (USC) planned to provide everyone in the country with 2Mbps broadband, this doesn't equate to the same legal right that is now in place in Finland through the USO. Those people in hard to reach areas of the UK may find that it is too costly to receive broadband and they may remain as a broadband not-spot. Finlands plans do not end with 1Meg broadband however, as they have intentions to boost this to 100Mbps to everyone by 2015. This is a target we in the UK will be lucky to reach by 2020 as a universal service, although some lucky people will be able to get it later this year from Virgin Media.