Life, Liberty and Broadband?

The Finnish Government has decided that broadband is a legal right, and has ruled that all Finns should have immediate access to a 1 Mbps connection. They’ve also committed to increasing that to 100 Mbps by 2015.

The idea of broadband being a “right” seems pretty bizarre, but then again, let’s take a look at Finland. Economically, they are one of the most socialist of countries, even by European standards, and are a true welfare state. While the government provides a wealth of services to all of its citizens, it embraces wealth redistribution to accomplish that. They have a huge tax burden, especially for those with higher incomes, and they even determine traffic fines based on how much one earns. In fact, a few years ago a local heiress had to pay a speeding fine of 170,000 euros (about $204,000 at that time) for driving at 50 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone in Helsinki. Read more…