Cold But With Great Access

Now here’s an interesting move by Finland’s government. They are one of the most connected countries with what has been reported as a 96% connection rate. They’ve decided to step that up a notch further with three moves that seem almost incredible given the nature of the country itself.

Make it so

The Finish government decreed that;

  1. Broadband access has become a legal right,
  2. All citizens will have access to at least 1Mbit/s internet service starting in July of next year, and
  3. All citizens will have access to 100MBit/s by 2015.

Now put that in your pickled herring and chew on it.

Noteworthy or nuts?

We think this is noble set of objectives but one must look at the realistic nature of communications to determine if this is likely to be done. It seems to us that the laws of diminishing returns might plague those last two or three customers just kilometers outside of Utsjoki. It might cost an infinite amount of money to get that last customer. Is it really worth it for the country. Are there any people in Finland who are in the back woods just because they do not want to connect?

What about the 100MBit/s? Well it is possible, but again it is realistic? In a country about 3% the size of Canada, or just about 3/4 the size of Newfoundland and Labrador it might be possible to achieve goals like this but it will not be cheap or easy. The effort will have to make tradeoffs—reminding us of the the technology triangle of torture;

What’s our bogie?

Hey, if Finland wants to do it, great for them. We think North Americans would be better off if we upped the broadband penetration rate to include at least 90% of the citizens at at least 1Mbit/s by the end of 2010? What do you think? Read more about it here.

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