Finland: "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of broadband"

Finland has just passed a law that makes it a government-guaranteed right for every citizen to have access to a high-speed Internet connection.

The law mandates that every home be able to connect to the Internet with speeds of at least 1 Mbit. That already applies to 96% of Finnish homes, according to the BBC, so there’s only a few thousand people the new law will actually affect.

Finland, and the rest of Scandinavia, is well known for its extensive list of human rights. It was the first country to give women the right to vote, its 30 vacation day law is one of the highest in the world, and in 2009 it first proposed making broadband a legal right.

Today’s measure makes Finland the first country to impose such a law. Even before it became a self-evident right, broadband penetration was high. In a recent report, Finland was deemed to have the second highest broadband penetration in the European Union, behind Denmark.