Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Finland makes broadband a legal right

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca.

There's a debate going on in Canada right now over how we can get more people to sign up for broadband access. A recent industry-funded report found that 30 per cent of Canadian households still haven't signed up for it, whether it's because they can't afford it or they're simply not technically literate enough.

One possible way to spur more uptake is to make broadband a legal right, which is what Finland is reportedly doing. The Finns, who gave us vikings, Teemu Selanne and Nokia, have decided that starting next July, every person will have the legal right to a broadband connection of at least one megabit per second. What's more notable is that this is only a stepping stone toward the ultimate goal, which is the right for all to a 100-megabit connection by the end of 2015. That requirement states that no customer can be more than two kilometres from a fibre or cable network.

The Finnish government is obviously putting a very high value on high-speed internet access, given that the country already rates very well in the OECD's broadband rankings. Not only does Finland have the eighth highest number of subscribers per 100 inhabitants, slightly ahead of Canada, it has some of the most affordable services available, ranking in the top five in entry-level, medium-speed and high-speed connections. (Canada, in comparison, rated in the bottom third in all three measures.) Finland, however, rated behind Canada in a recent Cisco-funded study of broadband quality by Oxford University. Needless to say, if all Finns are guaranteed access to 100-megabit service in the next five years — and it is offered at a reasonable price — Finland will be leap-frogging many countries in broadband leadership.

A number of other countries are reportedly mulling the idea of making broadband access a legal right, including the U.K. There, another interesting suggestion has been put forward — that real-estate listings include the highest achievable broadband speed for a domicile. It's an idea that has appeal to many tech-literate home buyers, whose numbers are certainly increasing every year. Such a move might spur owners and service providers to make sure homes are sufficiently wired.

The idea is also reminiscent of a study put out last year by Tim Wu, who coined the phrase "net neutrality," and a Google executive on the possibility of including broadband fibre connections as part of a home owner's property. The "homes with tails" report suggested that having a broadband fibre connection raised the value of a property, and ensured net neutrality by giving home owners a greater selection of service providers by moving them closer to central connection hubs.

These are all great ideas that are worth exploring in Canada. Too bad we're lost in space when it comes to thinking up a digital strategy.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Matt Innes

I'd settle for a legal right to get the broadband speed that I'm paying Bell for.

Posted October 15, 2009 01:15 PM

Bob Boutet

"A recent industry-funded report found that 30 per cent of Canadian households still haven't signed up for it, whether it's because they can't afford it or they're simply not technically literate enough."

I submit 30% of Canadians don't have access to a broadband connection and it's not us long time computer users who are technically illiterate. What a stupid, arrogent thing to say!

Posted October 26, 2009 01:36 AM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Updated Istanbul nightclub shooting suspect from Uzbekistan, Turkish media reports video
Turkish media reports say the suspect in the Istanbul nightclub attack has been captured by police.
At least 1 Canadian dead after Mexican nightclub shooting video
At least one Canadian is dead after a shooting and stampede at a nightclub in a Playa del Carmen, Mexico, which left five dead and 15 injured.
Trump calls Brexit 'great,' slams Germany's migrant policy
U.S. president-elect Donald Trump says the U.K. was "so smart" for deciding to leave the European Union, and he believes other countries will follow Britain's lead.
more »

Canada »

Ethics watchdog launches investigation into Trudeau's vacation in the Bahamas video
Canada's ethics commissioner has launched an investigation into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family vacation to the Aga Khan's private island home in the Bahamas.
Father of teen girl found in Toronto after reported abduction says she's gone missing before video
Peel Regional Police say a 15-year-old girl who was reportedly abducted in Mississauga, Ont., on Sunday afternoon, has been found in Toronto. An Amber Alert has been cancelled.
Douglas Garland killed Calgary couple and grandson over 'petty grudge,' court hears
The man accused of killing a Calgary couple and their five-year-old grandson was motivated by a "petty grudge" over a patent dispute and burned their bodies in a barrel after killing them, court hears as the triple-murder trial of Douglas Garland begins.
more »

Politics »

Territories agree to health funding deal with federal government
Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories have signed bilateral deals with the federal government on health-care transfers.
New Federal government reaffirms commitment to bring Yazidi refugees to Canada video
Canada will meet its commitment to bring an unspecified number of persecuted Yazidis to Canada by late February, according to the federal government’s new immigration minister.
Ethics watchdog launches investigation into Trudeau's vacation in the Bahamas video
Canada's ethics commissioner has launched an investigation into Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family vacation to the Aga Khan's private island home in the Bahamas.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Bruce Springsteen cover band changes tune, won't play at Trump gala
A Bruce Springsteen cover band has changed its tune about performing at a Washington gala the day before Republican Donald Trump's inauguration.
Five most memorable presidential inauguration performances video
The U.S. Presidential inauguration has attracted some major talent in the past. Here's a look back at some of the most memorable performances
Woody Harrelson to mix film, theatre with Lost in London live stream
Woody Harrelson is trying to do something that's never been done before, although he's starting to realize why his feat would be a first: he plans to spend the early hours of Friday shooting a full-length comedy that will be broadcast as it happens.
more »

Technology & Science »

Text 911 for help? CRTC holds hearing on upgrading emergency services
You may soon be able to text 911 for help, send a photo depicting damage from an emergency or even share video of a bad guy fleeing a scene. But a public health expert says Canadians should be questioning the reliability of the 911 service we already have.
Eugene Cernan, last astronaut to walk on moon, dead at 82
Eugene Cernan, the last astronaut to walk on the moon, an experience that he said made him "belong to the universe," died on Monday at the age of 82, the U.S. space agency said.
Yukon home to 1st traces of humans in North America 24,000 years ago, research suggests
Humans may have been living in Yukon’s Bluefish Caves 10,000 years earlier than previously thought and may have been the first people in North America, new research from the University of Montreal suggests.
more »

Money »

Rich man, poor man: A closer look at Oxfam's inequality figures video
Canada's middle class has the feeling it's being left behind. But Oxfam's measure of inequality, but those figures don't tell the whole story about the Canadian situation, critics say.
American Apparel starts layoffs in U.S. factories
American Apparel LLC said it had started to lay off staff on Monday, after Canadian apparel maker Gildan Activewear Inc. withdrew its initial plan to acquire some of the bankrupt U.S. fashion retailer's manufacturing operations.
Trump threatens 35% border tax on German autos
U.S president-elect Donald Trump warned German car companies he would impose a border tax of 35 per cent on vehicles imported to the U.S. market, a plan that drew sharp rebukes from Berlin and hit the automakers' shares.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Recap Penguins snap Capitals' streak in wild clash of titans
Conor Sheary scored 34 seconds into overtime and the Pittsburgh Penguins ended the Washington Capitals' nine-game winning streak with a wild 8-7 victory Monday night that included nine second-period goals.
Pens-Caps game has fans asking, 'Is this real life?'
Longtime rivals Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals lived up to their billing in a barnburner Monday night.
Analysis 5 storylines to watch in the NHL's 2nd half
The first half of the NHL season brought us, among other delights, scoring sprees by Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid and stunning rookie performances by Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine. With the league settling into its second half, here are five storylines to follow the rest of the way.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »