Broadband a legal right in Finland

With effect from July 1, Finnish citizens will have a legal right to fixed line broadband with a connection speed of at least 1Mbps.

According to new universal service obligations for operators, which came into play late last week, broadband access must be included in basic communications services like telephone or postal services. Telecom operators defined as universal service providers must be able to provide every permanent residence and business office with access to “a reasonably priced and high-quality connection with a downstream rate of at least 1 Mbps,” Finland’s Minister of Communications said.

The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, FICORA, has defined 26 telecom operators across Finland as universal service operators.

“From the end-user’s point of view the usability of a service depends not only on availability but also on price and quality. In the future, the Finnish communications policy will focus more and more on these two areas,” said Suvi Lindén, Finland’s Minister of Communications.

According to Informa’s WBIS, Finland had a fixed broadband penetration of 29 per cent at the end of March, with a total of 1.6 million subscriptions, most of which are on xDSL.

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