Here in the United States we have plenty of rights, such as “freedom”, “pursuit of happiness” and etc. However, even in a country as rights-centric as the U.S, rights don’t generally extend to technological access. There’s no right of HD or right to 3G or Wi-Fi, for example. Indeed, even driving a vehicle is considered a privilege. We largely let the market drive our access to technology, but perhaps we should consider taking a page out of Finland’s book. According to the AP, Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications has ordered telecom companies to be prepared to provide every home and office in the country with high-quality, reasonably-priced Internet service. So, broadband access will be the right of Finland citizens.
To begin with, the order entails providing access to speeds of least 1 Mbps, but it’s been reported that the long-term plan includes mandatory access to speeds of 100 Mbps by 2015. France had previously made broadband access a human right, but Finland will be the first to make it a legally-mandated right, assuming the plan is ratified by its parliament. The FCC is supposed to deliver a U.S. broadband plan to Congress by February of next year. We’ll see if it catches us up to Scandinavia. [via PCMag]