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 American University of Afghanistan remains under attack
An Associated Press photographer was in a classroom when the attack at the Kabul school began and describes what he saw.
Analysis Biden assurance may ease tensions with Turkey — to a point
U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden visited the Turkish capital Wednesday to "stand shoulder to shoulder" with Turkey. It was the highest-level visit of a Western official since the failed attempt to overthrow the government on July 15.
New Syria, ISIS engaged in toxic gas attacks, UN investigation finds
Syrian government troops were responsible for two toxic gas attacks and Islamic State militants used sulfur mustard gas, a joint investigation by the United Nations and the global chemical weapons watchdog found on Wednesday, according to a confidential report seen by Reuters.
more »

Canada »

Trudeaus' Caribbean flight details redacted to exclude nanny, in-laws
The flight manifest for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Christmas vacation to the Caribbean, released to the Conservatives through an access to information request, was redacted to leave off the names of family members and a nanny who travelled on the government-owned Challenger jet.
Canadian broadband and mobile internet speeds getting much faster, Ookla says
The average Canadian is getting much faster internet speeds than they were a year ago, new numbers suggested Wednesday.
Canada Post contract talks appear to stall as strike mandate deadline nears
It appears contract talks at Canada Post have stalled as a strike mandate for more than 51,000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is set to expire.
more »

Politics »

Trudeaus' Caribbean flight details redacted to exclude nanny, in-laws
The flight manifest for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Christmas vacation to the Caribbean, released to the Conservatives through an access to information request, was redacted to leave off the names of family members and a nanny who travelled on the government-owned Challenger jet.
RCMP allows Muslim women Mounties to wear hijab
The Mounties have adopted a new uniform policy to allow female Muslim officers to wear the hijab in an effort to better reflect Canada's diverse communities and to help recruit more Muslim officers.
Cost to fix Phoenix pay system 'will be higher' than $25M says deputy minister video
Fixing the problems with the federal government's new payroll system will cost more than $25 million, although the total won't be known for weeks, a top official at Public Works and Government Services Canada revealed Wednesday.
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»

Leslie Jones website hacked and taken offline
Leslie Jones has once again fallen victim to online abuse, with her website hacked to reveal personal information and explicit photos purportedly of the actress and comedian.
Peter Doig 'absolutely did not paint' landscape owned by Canadian, rules U.S. judge
A painting at the centre of a strange multimillion-dollar civil lawsuit filed by a former Canadian correctional officer who owns the canvas was definitely not the work of famed artist Peter Doig, a Chicago judge ruled Tuesday.
#SoGoneChallenge boosts Monica's 13-year-old hit song
R&B singer Monica says she's happy to see her 13-year-old hit So Gone trend heavily on social media, spike in sales and streams, and find a new audience with younger kids.
more »

Technology & Science »

Earth-like planet found orbiting the star next door
After scanning the vast reaches of the cosmos for Earth-like planets where life might exist, astronomers have found one right next door.
Canadian broadband and mobile internet speeds getting much faster, Ookla says
The average Canadian is getting much faster internet speeds than they were a year ago, new numbers suggested Wednesday.
Average human's ecological impact on the planet shrinking, study suggests audio
A new study has some hopeful news about our future — the average human's impact or ecological "footprint" on natural habitats around the world is declining.
more »

Money »

Canadian broadband and mobile internet speeds getting much faster, Ookla says
The average Canadian is getting much faster internet speeds than they were a year ago, new numbers suggested Wednesday.
Canada Post contract talks appear to stall as strike mandate deadline nears
It appears contract talks at Canada Post have stalled as a strike mandate for more than 51,000 members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is set to expire.
Investel sues Snapchat alleging geofiltering patent infringement
A Vancouver-based technology firm is suing Snapchat, alleging that the social media company is infringing on their "geofencing" patents, which allow the service to monitor the physical locations of its users.
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]
Rio 2016: Canadian Olympic medals by the numbers
Mostly known for its winter sport dominance, Canada's performance at Rio 2016 was historic on a number of levels. Here's a look at Canada's medal winners by the numbers.
Usain Bolt has plenty of post-Olympic options
There are countless possibilities for how Olympic icon Usain Bolt can spend his retirement. So what will the 30-year-old Jamaican icon do now?
Russian swimmer compares Rio Olympics to 'a cold war'
Russian Yulia Efimova, who won two Olympic silver medals this month after being cleared to compete in Rio following a doping ban, has compared swimming in the Games to being at war.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »