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Home BUSINESSGovt to double universal service broadband speed
Thu, 19 Mar, 2015 12:01:06 AM
FTimes Report, Mar 19
File Photo Lehtikuva.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications has proposed to have the universal service broadband speed doubled to 2Mb/s from the start of March 2015 to meet citizens’ needs, said a press release.  
A long-term goal is to increase the speed to 10 Mb/s by 2021 from the current 1Mb/s and a mid-term evaluation would be performed in 2017.
The ministry has issued an order for comments by April 1, 2015 on increasing the speed of universal service broadband, according to the release issued by the ministry on March 17.
Minister of Education and Communications Krista Kiuru in October 2014 requested the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority to map the market situation of the universal service and the speeds available for citizens.
“A reasonably priced and adequately fast network connection is a basic right of every Finn, and based on the report, it can be said that there is a clear need for the ambitious increase in universal service speed,” said Kiuru.
A report shows that commonly used network connection speeds have increased due to technological development, taking new frequency bands into use and having wireless connections, according to the official release.
While increasing the speed of universal service, attention would also be paid on its quality. An even quality of speed would be ensured by defining a minimum speed with monitoring periods of one day and four hours.
“By increasing the speed we would meet the needs of using everyday electronic services and pave the way for spreading of services in the future. A 2 Mb/s speed is sufficient for using basic internet services, such as online bank services and reading newspapers online, without problem,” said the minister.
Universal service requirements for telecom operators came into effect in July 2010. At that time, broadband connections were included in the basic communications services similarly to telephone and postal services.
Following the Information Society Code, a universal service provider will be assigned to an area, if reasonably priced and high-quality broadband service cannot be ensured otherwise.
A telecom operator that has been designated as a universal service provider has to be able to provide all permanent residences and business offices with reasonably priced, high-quality connection of at least 1 Mb/s.
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