Finland declares Internet a legal right

The Finnish government has declared that access to the Internet is a fundamental legal right alongside access to food, clean water and shelter.

The BBC is reporting that, from today, every Finnish citizen has the right to demand a broadband connection with a minimum speed of 1Mbps, which will rise to 100 Mbps by 2015.

Finnish telecoms outfits now have a legally enshrined duty to supply anyone who asks for it with a fast broadband connection, even if they live in a tree house half-way up a mountain.

Apparently, 96 per cent of Finns already have access to the Internet, which only leaves around 4,000 homes to be hooked up to comply with the law.

The UK Government has promised everyone a 2Mbps connection by 2012 but hasn't gone so far as to make it a legal requirement, giving shareholder-appeasing telecoms providers a handy get-out clause for those tricky rural homes which would require miles of cable to be laid.