The responsibilities of the Ministry of Transport and Communications include legislation related to the communications infrastructure (networks); data protection and data security questions; promotion of the availability of communications services; spectrum policy and legislation on radio and television services.
Society depends greatly on the utilisation of different electronic information and communication networks and on the use of digital services and contents made possible by them. Electronic communications networks and digital services play a central role.
Communications policy aims at ensuring that all households, businesses and organisations have well-functioning and reliable data connections and services. The operating environment for communications policy is, in addition to technological development, strongly shaped by the global character of the sector, changing user habits and the challenges related to the reliability and safety of activities.
Developing a digital society requires active communications policies, which in the next few years will serve as tools for a well-functioning and safe society as well as efficiency in both the business and public sector. Increasing attention is being paid to the utilisation of the growth potential of information and communications technology and digital services in the promotion of employment and economic growth.
The basic services in communications are telephone, broadband and postal services together with television and radio broadcasting of the Finnish Broadcasting Company Ltd.
The objective of communications policy is to ensure that basic services of high-quality and affordable price are available to everyone. The level of basic services is guaranteed by means of legislation. If necessary, the basic services are ensured by public funding.
Another key feature of communications policy is the reliability and security of communications networks and services under all conditions. Trust and operational reliability is promoted by actively developing the information security legislation and through broad-based cooperation with different interest groups. Particular attention is paid to ensuring the critical functions of society.
Communications policy aims to make diverse, high-quality and reasonably priced information society services available throughout the country. The development of communications networks, creation of a diverse range of services and promotion of a functioning market open to competition are encouraged through legislation and spectrum and licence policies.
As technological possibilities and user habits change, creating up-to-date conditions for the commercial provision of affordable services is a key challenge for communications policy.
Regulation of the communication market aims to ensure technology neutrality and to optimise the quality, price and availability of services. Despite the limited amount of spectrum, a sparse population and a small communications market, Finland is able to provide communications services that are inexpensive and represent high standards compared internationally.
Radio spectrum is a limited natural resource of great value to our society, culture and economy. For example, mobile communication, wireless broadband, satellite communication and television and radio broadcasting all need frequencies in order to be able to provide electronic communications services. Finnish spectrum policy strives to ensure flexible, efficient, appropriate and sufficiently interference-free use of frequencies.
Providing mobile communications and postal services involving the sending of letters require network licences issued by the Government. Digital terrestrial network television and radio broadcasting also require a network operating licence and a programme licence.
The goal of licence policy is to promote competition and the provision and use of services. In television and radio broadcasting, action is taken to ensure a high-quality and diverse provision of programmes and to promote domestic production.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications promotes digital development. It is not only about developing different kinds of technological applications or new services, but also about using them in a large scale and generating business and other activities around them.
The goal is to change old ways of doing things so as to meet the challenges of structural changes taking place in society. This can be accomplished through wide ranging co-operation and different projects that promote the use of electronic services. The necessary conditions for improving the well-being of society and the population include enabling cloud services, opening up information resources, building intelligent networks and services and ensuring barrier-free communications services.
In order to promote digital development the Ministry of Transport and Communications has launched a programme for growth, innovation, digital services and evolution (the GIDE Programme). The programme includes six themes under which various projects will be implemented. These themes are Open data, Development of cloud services, Start up, Green ICT, New forms of working and Strengthening ICT research.
The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) operates under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. It promotes the availability of diverse electronic media services. FICORA collects licence fees, issues short-term licences for television and radio broadcasting, supervises the content of television and radio programmes and advertisements, and monitors the level and quality of universal postal service.
FICORA also centrally administers radio spectrum. This nationally and internationally important responsibility ensures effective and disturbance-free use of frequencies.
FICORA maintains situational awareness of communications networks and information security and provides information about possible data security threats. Its goals also include increasing information security awareness and skills among citizens and businesses through guidelines and different kinds of events targeted at consumers. As network technologies continue to develop, FICORA also seeks to ensure the interoperability of communications networks and services.
FICORA continues the operations of the Telecommunications Administration Centre, which was established in 1988. The agency changed its name to FICORA in 2001.