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Finland: Broadband Is a Legal Right

Come July 2010, every Fin will have access to a 1 Megabit-per-second broadband connection. Finland just became the first country in the world to sign a law that provides every citizen of the country with a legal right to a broadband connection.

The Finnish government had already announced that every citizen should have access to a 100 Megabit-per-second broadband connection by the end of 2015. Now, it took an intermediary step toward that goal. On Oct. 14, the Ministry of Transport and Communications announced that every Fin should have a legal right to a 1 Megabit-per-second connection by next summer.

The move could pave the way for other countries to start looking at broadband as its citizens?inalienable legal right, akin to freedom of speech and freedom of movement. That makes a lot of sense: Most of us can no longer perform our work duties, do homework or communicate with friends without having access to the Internet. Many Web-based communications and video services, such as Skype, require a broadband connection to work. People need broadband connections to live normal lives, as Finland is the first nation to acknowledge.

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