Revised legislation on electronic communication to enter into force at the beginning of 2015
The Information Society Code, which will enter into force at the beginning of next year, will ensure that fail-safe communication networks, as well as sophisticated and reasonably-priced basic services in electronic communication are available throughout Finland.
On 6 November 2014, the Government approved the content of the revised act regulating electronic communication that references the Information Society Code. Finland's president is to ratify the act on 7 November, and it is to come into force for the most part on 1 January 2015.
Reliable quality and flexibility as an objective
The provisions of the Information Society Code will be evident in the everyday lives of citizens in the form of improved consumer protection and information security. The communication field will see the impact of the act in simpler operating license procedures and a more equal market.
With regard to consumer protection, the act will provide that when a consumer orders and pays for a product or service via mobile the consumer's telecom operator and the company selling the product or service will share accountability. Regulation that applies to protection of privacy and information security will become broader-scoped. In the future, data protection and information security provisions will apply to all communication distributors including social media service providers.
Additionally, the Information Society Code will improve access to the internet's universal service connection. The law obligates telecom operators to tell their clients about and offer them universal service products more actively than before.
The impacts of the Information Society Code on communications business will be evident for example in the form of a simplified operating license system, wherein a significant part of decisions concerning radio and television programming licences will be transferred to the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA). In future, new frequency bands for mobile communications will be distributed via auction.
Steps will be taken to make monitoring of the pricing used by companies that hold significant market power more effective, and FICORA will be given the right to intervene in pricing when problems with competition arise.
The electronic communication legislation reform is based on the 2011 Government Programme, which stated that the Government must support digital services by streamlining legislation that applies to electronic communication and the supply of information society services.
The Information Society Code was prepared in an exceptionally open manner through broad-scoped cooperation between officials and stakeholders.
Further information on the Information Society Code's context:
Securing continuity of electronic communication: Mr Timo Kievari, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2620
Revision of the operating license system for electronic communication: Ms Maaret Suomi, Senior Adviser for Legislative Affairs, tel. +358 295 34 2150 and Ms Kaisa Laitinen, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2608
Promotion of competition in the communication market, monitoring of companies that hold significant market power: Ms Kreetta Simola, Senior Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2609
Regulation of consumer protection and protection of privacy and information security: Ms Laura Tarhonen, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2073
Regulation of universal service: Ms Elina Thorström, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2393