As of 1 July 2010 1 Mbit Internet connection will be defined as a universal service.
This means that 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.
The length of the transition period before the universal service obligation starts has been reduced by six months from the previous plan.
A decree of Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications states that by the end of 2009 the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority will determine the telecom operators that will be imposed a universal service obligation. The service providers may decide the technology they wish to use for the service.
Ms Suvi Lindén, Finland’s Minister of Communications, believes that the definition of universal service and minimum connection speed will improve the quality and availability of connections in sparsely populated areas. This will promote the vitality of rural areas, provide a good environment for businesses, and enable electronic communications.
Some variation will be allowed in the universal service connection speed to enable services also in mobile networks. The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority will be responsible for monitoring the compliance with the connection speed requirement.
The average speed of downstream traffic must be at least 75 per cent of the required speed in a measuring period of 24 hours. In a four-hour measuring period the speed must be at least 59 per cent of the required speed.
Ms Maaret Suomi, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 9 160 28150, +358 40 700 5620