« Household products that serve double duty | Main | How to fix a crumbling monetary system »

July 06, 2021

Finland makes broadband Internet access a legal right

For whatever reason, no one ever says anything bad about the Nordic nations.

Well, actually, wait: “whatever reason” isn’t really “whatever” at all. Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden are routinely on the cutting edge of business, technology and overall societal function, and – by the Failed States Index Scores’ numbers – almost always rank as the most stable countries on earth.

And it’s because of this that whenever one of these Euro-heavyweights makes a trailblazing move, the rest of the world needs to take notice. Today is one of those days.

Finland, the massive country of just 5.3 million people, has made headlines after announcing it’s made broadband Internet access a legal right for all its citizens.

It is, as you might imagine, the first country on earth to grant such legislation to its public body.

“From now on a reasonably priced broadband connection will be everyone’s basic right in Finland,” the country’s communications minister said in a statement. “This is absolutely one of the government’s most significant achievements.”

Finland’s new legislation steps in and forces the country’s telecom operators – something Canada, for all its efforts, hasn’t successfully been able to do – to provide this “reasonably priced” high-speed connection of at least one megabit per second to every permanent resident or office.

By the country’s estimates, reasonably priced means a fee of about $37-$47 per month for broadband access, according to

Of course, this is where the knock, if there is any, comes against Finland. The country is one of the more expensive nations to live in the world, and $50 a month for broadband access is hardly a price that makes Canadians jealous.

Still, government regulation for Finnish broadband prices may be a big deal, in that about 99 per cent of all households in the country currently have access to the service.

If the initiative goes as planned, the remaining 4,000 residences in Finland will soon be plugged in, meaning 100 per cent of Finnish homes could be locked, loaded and ready to surf.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



Post a comment


Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...