No, you’re not reading an Onion story. In Finland, the government has deemed a fast Internet connection is a right and will mandate service providers offer broadband service to everyone. Not only do some countries think Internet access is a right, but the United Nations thinks Internet access is a human right.
It is not clear who will pay for the infrastructure, or if users will just get access everywhere for “free.” There is no indication the Fins will mandate computer manufactures and cell phone makers distribute free computers and iPhones, but without a device to actually access the Internet, there is no Internet …. so I’m expecting … well, you know …
From CNN, with my emphasis in bold.
Starting in July, telecommunication companies in the northern European nation [Finland] will be required to provide all 5.2 million citizens with Internet connection that runs at speeds of at least 1 megabit per second.
The one-megabit mandate, however, is simply an intermediary step, said Laura Vilkkonen, the legislative counselor for the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The country is aiming for speeds that are 100 times faster — 100 megabit per second — for all by 2015.
“We think it’s something you cannot live without in modern society. Like banking services or water or electricity, you need Internet connection,” Vilkkonen said. …
It is a view shared by the United Nations, which is making a big push to deem Internet access a human right.
In June, France’s highest court declared such access a human right. But Finland goes a step further by legally mandating speed.
Where is my free stuff? I want my free stuff! NOW!