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Finland Declares Broadband Access A Legal Right

Finland has made access to broadband internet services a legal right for all of the country's citizens.

The move makes Finland the first country in the world to give broadband access the status of a legal right.

The BBC reports that, from today, every Finnish citizen will be entitled to a broadband connection with a minimum speed of 1Mbps.

Finland has also promised to ensure a 100Mbps broadband connection is available to every citizen who wants one by 2015.

Speaking to the BBC, Suvi Linden, Finland's communication minister, said: “We considered the role of the internet in Finns' everyday life. Internet services are no longer just for entertainment. Finland has worked hard to develop an information society, and a couple of years ago we realised not everyone had access.”

An estimated 96 per cent of Finns currently have a broadband connection. In the UK, the fugure is 73 per cent.

The UK government has promised a minimum connection of 2Mbps by 2012, but has so no plans to make it a legal requirement.