Finland Becomes the First Country in the World to Make Broadband a Legal Right

When most people think of basic rights, they think of things like free speech, the right to work, the right to bear arms, etc. What they don’t think of as a basic right is Internet access — unless, of course, they live in Finland. In 2010, Finland became the first country in the world to make high-speed Internet service a basic right of its citizens. All service providers in the Nordic country are legally required to provide at least a 1MB connection to all households, regardless of location. By 2015, a new law provided all citizens with a 100MB connection. Approximately 80% of Finland's 5.2 million citizens are now connected to the Internet, with only about 4,000 homes declining the offer. The government of Finland considers the role of the Internet in the lives of their citizens no longer just for entertainment. The fact that Finland is a much smaller country that doesn’t have the geographical problems that countries like the U.S. and the U.K. have made it easier to accomplish their goal of bringing the Internet to rural areas.