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Finland Makes Broadband A 'Legal Right'  
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1844 times:

BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/10461048.stm

"Finland has become the first country in the world to make broadband a legal right for every citizen.

From 1 July every Finn will have the right to access to a 1Mbp broadband connection.
Finland has vowed to connect everyone to a 100Mbps connection by 2015.

The Finnish deal means that from 1 July all telecommunications companies will be obliged to provide all residents with broadband lines that can run at a minimum 1Mbps speed."

In practice up to 96% of the population are already online and that only about 4,000 homes still need connecting to comply with the law. Still the Finnish broadband providers are not all pleased, infrastructure for connecting remote residents is especially pricey and it's not clear who pays and how much..

According to the country's communications minister Ms Linden they are pushed to offer more services in the internet and government services would suffer if all Finns were not connected.

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 18679 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1826 times:

Can't those in remote locations use satellite?

I can't believe Finland did this. It's a bit absurd, really.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13792 posts, RR: 63
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1806 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
Can't those in remote locations use satellite?

I can't believe Finland did this. It's a bit absurd, really.

Actually not. I´m living in a small village myself, and we only get ISDN. The problem is that no provider except for the Deutsche Telekom, is interested in supplying villages like ours, because the number of potential customers is mucch less than they would get in an urban area. The Telekom uses it´s monopoly by providing only a technically obsolete and very slow system (ISDN narrowband), which they then sell at three times the rate a broadband connection would cost in a city.
The government has realised that more and more businesses are depending on fast internet connections and are moving away from rural regions because of the bad connectivity. This obviously leads to rural unemployment and also, as a result, migration away from rural regions.
So the German goverment also introduced an initiative to give rural people the same chances of getting an affordable internet connection as those living in cities.

Jan


User currently offlineYellowstone From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3071 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1799 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
I can't believe Finland did this. It's a bit absurd, really.

Disagree. In the next 10 to 20 years, internet access is going to be at least important as public education in terms of maintaining an informed public discourse, which is critical to a functional democracy. We have a right to a public education - seems to me we should have a right to internet access as well.



Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 1790 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
I can't believe Finland did this. It's a bit absurd, really.
The basic idea is something like "equality in the information society" so everybody has the access to the public services, banking etc. Life's quite complicated without a broadband, like I haven't physically visited my bank for years, they assume their clients use the internet bank.
The government's tax department preferes to communicate with me on line, so I guess they want to be sure the connection is there.

[Edited 2010-07-02 00:19:16]

User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1784 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 2):
The government has realised that more and more businesses are depending on fast internet connections and are moving away from rural regions because of the bad connectivity. This obviously leads to rural unemployment and also, as a result, migration away from rural regions.

Yes same in Finland, especially being a large parsely populated country. Even the farms need fast connections these days, mainly thanks to the EU bureaucracy.

[Edited 2010-07-02 00:38:48]

User currently offlineLTU932 From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 13864 posts, RR: 50
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1747 times:

Quoting Andaman (Thread starter):
The Finnish deal means that from 1 July all telecommunications companies will be obliged to provide all residents with broadband lines that can run at a minimum 1Mbps speed."

I hope this also means that people get a flatrate for broadband, and not a volume charge. The law is good and I support that broadband should become a legal right (especially here, where the Telekom holds this semi-monopoly), but I wonder if that law also made provisions to make sure people get only charged the base charges and not separate volume charges for it.

I say semi-monopoly because despite other providers providing competition, the Telekom still holds a substantial infrastructural monopoly as Jan mentioned. Depending on the area, Germany could thus implement a requirement, where rural areas have a minimum of DSL 1000 or 2000, and urban areas (including their respective suburbs) DSL 6000, at least until all other areas are capable of providing VDSL.


User currently offlineJJJ From Spain, joined May 2006, 1718 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1741 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
Can't those in remote locations use satellite?

They probably will. Over here they use a dedicated set of small, low-power cell stations that give up to 2Mb at the same price of DSL for rural, sparsely populated areas.

Setting a few of those every 5 km. or so is much cheaper than tending wires.


User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26489 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1739 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
Can't those in remote locations use satellite?

I can't believe Finland did this. It's a bit absurd, really.

Not at all I wish Ireland would do the same its terrible here and many are still without any broadband, its third world the infrastructure here. You have the old state company now privatised offering it in major towns and cities along with 10 other companies but they never bother to upgrade rural areas or smaller towns. Even people in Dublin cant get it because Eircom wont upgrade the lines. Also if you do finally get a line you must sign up to 12 months contract with Eircom which defeats the purpose of having competition in the first place. Eircom own all the infrastructure and its supposed to be open to all. The Irish government have failed the country. Many people cant even work from home due to the bad situation.

Lucky for me a local entrepreneur set up his own company and we have a box on the roof for broadband and I'm very happy with it. If it hadn't been for him I would still be without it.

The EU should act , we keep getting stupid rules from Brussels saying we cant buy a Dozen Eggs and instead they could be actually doing something to benefit the citizens and fining the Irish government €1 M a day for lack of access to a decent telecommunications network.



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3007 posts, RR: 48
Reply 9, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1730 times:
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Well, Finland wasn't the first country - Switzerland was there first. In this country, every citizen can demand a broadband connection at home. If the carrier can't deliver it on a standard phone line (for example if there is no phone line at all or if the site is too remote / too far away from the exchange), they have to deliver it on 3G (if available) or via satellite. The customer doesn't pay a surcharge for this (the carriers actually make a loss from this, but they have to by law).


Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13792 posts, RR: 63
Reply 10, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1664 times:

Quoting oa260 (Reply 8):
Not at all I wish Ireland would do the same its terrible here and many are still without any broadband, its third world the infrastructure here. You have the old state company now privatised offering it in major towns and cities along with 10 other companies but they never bother to upgrade rural areas or smaller towns. Even people in Dublin cant get it because Eircom wont upgrade the lines. Also if you do finally get a line you must sign up to 12 months contract with Eircom which defeats the purpose of having competition in the first place. Eircom own all the infrastructure and its supposed to be open to all. The Irish government have failed the country. Many people cant even work from home due to the bad situation.

With our village Telekom demanded that
a) the village would pay for the upgrading of the lines, and
b) the village would guarantee that at least 40% of the users would sign contracts with the Telekom only, instead of one of the competitors.

Also, back in the 1990s, when the Telekom was still a government monopoly (which later got privatised), it invested billions in an ISDN system, which shortly afterwards was shown to be obsolete when broadband appeared. To make the investment pay, Telekom only sells broadband if you at the same time sign an ISDN contract for yor telephone.
As the only country in Europe, Deutsche Telekom uses "broadband over ISDN", which, due to the choice of the carrier frequency, restricts the range of broadband signal compared to a pure broadband system (this is the problem with my village, it is about 5 km to far away from the next broadband node and would need an amplifying station in the next village upstream to be able to receive broadband signals).
Even today, privatised, the Telekom enjoys a quasimonopoly because they inherited all the taxpayer financed infrastructure from the old government monopoly and makes it extremely hard for competitors (who essentially would have to spend billions to set up a parallel network).

Jan

[Edited 2010-07-02 07:36:19]

[Edited 2010-07-02 07:39:24]

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13792 posts, RR: 63
Reply 11, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1651 times:

Quoting JJJ (Reply 7):
They probably will. Over here they use a dedicated set of small, low-power cell stations that give up to 2Mb at the same price of DSL for rural, sparsely populated areas.

I discussed the Telekom´s offer for a satellite system with a Telekom technician (as opposed to a salesperson) and discovered that it isn´t as good as advertised. Especially the uplink is only allowed to work with very small transmission power. Due to the low power and the high attenuation of the radio waves, you´ll need a rather big dish antenna ( 0.8 meters plus). You´ll need a free (no trees or buildings) view to the southern horizon and you´ll have to live at least 500m away from an airport. Then the radio waves (again due to the frequency range) get easily disturbed by precipitation (rain, snow).

A businessman in our village offered a kind of extended WLAN via directional antennas from a neighbouring village, which has broadband, but this system now also reached the limits of it´s capacity and noticably slows down when many users go on line. It is also not much cheaper and faster than the ISDN line.

Jan


User currently offlineandz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8414 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1553 times:
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Hardly surprising news from a country widely regarded as the most technologically advanced in the world.

When I have visited Finland it really makes me feel I am living in the dark ages.



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4675 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1525 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 10):
To make the investment pay, Telekom only sells broadband if you at the same time sign an ISDN contract for yor telephone.

From what I know, you can actually get an analogue telephone line + DSL internet from Telekom.



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlinedxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 1525 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
I can't believe Finland did this. It's a bit absurd, really.

In truth we are not far behind.

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/...ly=true&contentid=2010/07/0354.xml

http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20100702/pl_mcclatchy/3555887

Obama's plan, announced Friday, will allocate more than $1 billion for installing broadband Internet across the country.

About $800 million of that will come from the tax-sponsored stimulus package, while the rest comes from outside investment


User currently offlinesolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 847 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 1489 times:

I´m getting 100 Mbps next month paying about $15/month...

http://www.ownit.se/

Hope to see the same legal right here as in Finland


/Mike   

[Edited 2010-07-03 08:37:53]


Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 1433 times:

Quoting solnabo (Reply 15):
I´m getting 100 Mbps next month paying about $15/month...

Wow thats an exellent price... My broadband provider offers 10-200 Mbps connections, I pay EUR 24,90/month for the slowest 10M, 200M costs EUR 54,90.

In English: http://www.welho.fi/en/homes/broadband


User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3312 posts, RR: 35
Reply 17, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1377 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 2):
and we only get ISDN
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 10):
it invested billions in an ISDN system, which shortly afterwards was shown to be obsolete when broadband appeared
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 10):
As the only country in Europe, Deutsche Telekom uses "broadband over ISDN",

Jan, the problem is not the ISDN line (I have 24Mbps ADSL over ISDN) but the node or local switching center.
Most of Greece still runs on "ancient" copper pairs, still, in most places ADSL is available.(thanks Siemens)

Ku-band satellite does not offer broadband.
They can advertise differently, as in "up to 1 Mb", but this bandwidth is shared by many users.
One Mb on the (geostationary) satellite transponder costs the ISP between 3,000 and 3,500$/month.
To make it a business case it needs to be split between a lot of users.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6100 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1371 times:

About satellite connections, usually the upload is with the telephone line still, because using the satellite wouldn't be better anyway (it would even be worse depending on what you do). The download can be reasonably fast, but the typical communications satellites are geostationary, meaning they are far, far away. That means you have a very bad ping (response time).


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineAndaman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1345 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 18):

Yes you would think satellite connections are the answer in the parsely populated countries like Finland, but it seems there are not, at least not yet.

Quoting andz (Reply 12):
Hardly surprising news from a country widely regarded as the most technologically advanced in the world.

Yes true in some ways but I'm afraid the image is better than the reality... You can say pragmatic Finns generally are open to the new technology though.

[Edited 2010-07-03 17:59:30]

User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3312 posts, RR: 35
Reply 20, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1331 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 10):
Even today, privatised, the Telekom enjoys a quasimonopoly because they inherited all the taxpayer financed infrastructure from the old government monopoly and makes it extremely hard for competitors (who essentially would have to spend billions to set up a parallel network).

That is a purely matter of legislation and I am surprised that in Germany the network owner is not obliged to open it to third parties, provided adequate agreements of course.
Even here, and we are far from Finland in terms of technological advances, that's how it works, a single legacy network and multiple providers.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 18):
That means you have a very bad ping (response time).

600 to 650mS for a single hop, good enough in most cases.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 11):
Due to the low power and the high attenuation of the radio waves, you´ll need a rather big dish antenna ( 0.8 meters plus)

That's a small dish, and I suspect that the upload is via phone line as Aesma mentioned.


User currently offlineeinsteinboricua From Puerto Rico, joined Apr 2010, 2668 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1303 times:

Does Finland recognize dual citizens?, cause I may just move and live there.   

All jokes aside, I think it's nice that a country is making internet access a right to its citizens. I know that if taken away from Internet I don't now what I would do. It's a cushy life we're living. To revert to do things the old way is kinda hard though not impossible.



"You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky."
User currently offlineflanker From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1624 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1268 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
I can't believe Finland did this. It's a bit absurd, really.

It is absurd, especially forcing companies to supply towns who would make them no money at all. And then people on here bitching about not raising prices. the nerve..



Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist
User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26489 posts, RR: 58
Reply 23, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1254 times:

Quoting flanker (Reply 22):
It is absurd, especially forcing companies to supply towns who would make them no money at all. And then people on here bitching about not raising prices. the nerve..

It should be jointly funded by private companies and government subsidies in such areas and a fee of around €30-€35 a month is not unrealistic for subscribers to pay.



AEGEAN-OLYMPIC AIR - ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΗ " μέλος στη Star Alliance
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6100 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 1219 times:

Quoting flanker (Reply 22):
It is absurd, especially forcing companies to supply towns who would make them no money at all. And then people on here bitching about not raising prices. the nerve..

Usually those companies (in European countries anyway) were, not long ago, owned by the countries. When they were given away (sold), they had to agree to continue to provide service even where they lose money.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13792 posts, RR: 63
Reply 25, posted (3 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1179 times:

Quoting iakobos (Reply 20):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 10):
Even today, privatised, the Telekom enjoys a quasimonopoly because they inherited all the taxpayer financed infrastructure from the old government monopoly and makes it extremely hard for competitors (who essentially would have to spend billions to set up a parallel network).

That is a purely matter of legislation and I am surprised that in Germany the network owner is not obliged to open it to third parties, provided adequate agreements of course.
Even here, and we are far from Finland in terms of technological advances, that's how it works, a single legacy network and multiple providers.

Well, back in the 1990s (under the Kohl government), it was very fashionable to privatise statre-owned companies (even if they were run efficiently). The problem back then was that the privatisations were often botched and we realised too late that we exchanged a government monopoly (where the ordinary citizen still had some say through parliament) for private monopolies.
In cae of the Telekom, wherever there exists a broadband network, the Telekom has to provide access to it´s competitors. This is not the case woth the ISDN narrowband network (also the competitors don´t seem to be interested in investing into this obsolete technology), especially in regions with low population density. For the Telekom it is a win-win situation: They can use the tax money financed infrastructure without having to invest into it and they can charge higher fees for a slower service due to lack of competition.
As I said, for our village, they demanded that we would pay for the new DSL node out of our own pockets and then guarantee that at least 50% of the villagers would use their servivces instead of using a then available competitor like Accor.

Quoting iakobos (Reply 20):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 11):
Due to the low power and the high attenuation of the radio waves, you´ll need a rather big dish antenna ( 0.8 meters plus)

That's a small dish, and I suspect that the upload is via phone line as Aesma mentioned.

From what the Telekom tech told me, the uplink would be via satellite as well, but with rather low transmission power (hence the restrictions for living near airports).

Jan


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