Home > Legal Buzz > Finland High Court Guarantees Highspeed Internet

Finland High Court Guarantees Highspeed Internet

In the United States, the Second Amendment protects citizens’ rights to bear arms. In Canada, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees citizens’ certain basic civil and political rights. In Finland, a recently passed law now makes a broadband internet connection a legal right. How about that!

The diminutive northern Scandinavian nation,  is a relatively small country, with a population just over 5-million. Known for their excellence in the telecommunications industry, perhaps this new law isn’t so surprising. Finland’s high court recently passed the law last month. The Finnish government has also indicated that the law is only an intermediary step towards a guaranteed 100-Mb connection to all Finns in 2015.

The notion that the access to information is a human right is not new. Everybody relies heavily on the internet. Students need it for school work, whether it be downloading assignments, research, not to mention keeping in touch with friends through email and social networks. Those in the workforce perhaps rely on it even more extensively. The internet isn’t a luxury anymore, it is a necessity. According to a recent survey, four in five adults believe access to the Internet is a fundamental right — with those feelings particularly strong in South Korea and China — and half believe it should never be regulated.

While I find it difficult to justify that access to the internet as a legal right akin to other fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Charter or  U.S. Bill of Rights, such as freedom of speech, religion and freedom of assembly – there is no question that access to information is important. It should be readily available, whether at coffee shops, the library, or other public places, and it should be affordable and easily accessible. Healthy competition between service providers and less regulation of the industry is a good way to ensure that consumers are given the most choice and best prices for internet access.

Access to Information

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