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Finland Declares Broadband Access a Right

in International/Universal Service by

WASHINGTON July 1, 2010- In an amendment to the Communications Market Act broadband access was added as a right for all citizens and business.  The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) will ensure that all citizens have access to broadband connection with a minimum down speed of 1Mbps. This service will be provided via universal service requirements.

According to the FICORA “a universal service provider must be assigned if this is necessary in order to ensure the universal service provision in a certain area. Consumers must separately agree with the telecom operator assigned as a universal service provider on the obtaining of a broadband subscription pertaining to universal service.”

FICORA will also begin to monitor the pricing and speeds of broadband services. They have not been given a mandate for price caps but they have stated that they feel a monthly fee of 30-40Euros ($49) is reasonable in most cases.

Rahul Gaitonde has been writing for BroadbandBreakfast.com since the fall of 2009, and in May of 2010 he became Deputy Editor. He was a fellow at George Mason University’s Long Term Governance Project, a researcher at the International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology and worked at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. He holds a Masters of Public Policy from George Mason University, where his research focused on the economic and social benefits of broadband expansion. He has written extensively about Universal Service Fund reform, the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program and the Broadband Data Improvement Act

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