New universal service obligations for telecom operators will take effect in the beginning of July. This means that a broadband access will be included in basic communications services like telephone or postal services. As of the beginning of July telecom operators defined as universal service providers must be able to provide every permanent residence and business office with access to a reasonably priced and high-quality connection with a downstream rate of at least 1 Mbit/s.
"From now on a reasonably priced broadband connection will be everyone’s basic right in Finland. This is absolutely one of the Government’s most significant achievements in regional policy and I am proud of it" says Ms Suvi Lindén, Finland’s Minister of Communications.
Last year the Communications Market Act was amended so that universal service also includes a functional Internet connection. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has defined the minimum rate of downstream traffic of a functional Internet access to be 1 Mbit/s, and the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, FICORA, has defined 26 telecom operators across Finland as universal service operators.
A broadband access in accordance with universal service obligations must be reasonably priced. FICORA monitors the availability of broadband as universal service and the compliance with the universal service obligation.
"I hope that people will make use of the opportunity and turn to telecom operators in the area they live" Minister Lindén says.
Under the Communications Market Act a universal service operator will be defined if a reasonably priced, high-quality supply cannot be ensured in any other way. Universal service operators obliged to supply broadband connections are listed according to locations on FICORA’s Internet pages.