Broadband access to become legal right in Finland

— 5:11 PM on October 14, 2009

Finland may have a smaller population than Wisconsin and a language that looks like gibberish, but Finns clearly value their broadband Internet connections. In fact, according to Finnish state news, the Nordic nation is on track to make broadband access a legal right.

YLE quotes Finland's Ministry of Transport and Communications as saying that, starting in July 2010, "every person in Finland will have the right to a one-megabit broadband connection." And that's only the start. The government will move to make 100Mbit broadband a legal right "by the end of 2015."

The legislation might come as a surprise considering Finland's low population density, but YLE says the Ministry will leave some wiggle room "if connectivity can be arranged through mobile phone networks."

This announcement comes four months after France's Constitutional Council shot down a "three strikes and you're out" piracy bill, which would have allowed an administrative body to disconnect users suspected of online piracy. The Council justified its decision by saying Internet access had become necessary to democratic life, adding that only judges had the power to take citizens offline. (Thanks to Gizmodo for the tip.)

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