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The US. could be in line for expanded Internet access in the near future, possibly copying the lead of Finland.  Although it will be quite expensive, the FCC is expected to submit a national plan to Congress this February that would increase the availability of high-speed Internet connections.

Finland recently became the first country to declare that access to broadband Internet is much more than a mere privilege; it is a right.

CNN.com reports:

“Starting in July, telecommunication companies in the northern European nation will be required to provide all 5.2 million citizens with Internet connection that runs at speeds of at least 1 megabit per second.”

Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications says that 1 megabit per second is just the beginning.  The goal is to increase the speed to 100 megabit per second speeds for everyone by the year 2015.

Other countries such as France are restricting Internet use under certain circumstances.  In an attempt to reduce piracy, the French Parliament approved a bill that aims to take away Internet access for third-time offenders, the University of Pittsburgh’s Jurist reported in September.

The U.S. faces similar piracy issues to those of France while simultaneously looking to improve access.  Therefore, our country is reaching an important crossroads in which a public policy line must be drawn between protection and availability.


Joel B. Rothman represents clients in intellectual property infringement litigation involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, defamation, trade libel, unfair competition, unfair and deceptive trade practices, and commercial matters. Joel’s litigation practice also includes significant focus on electronic discovery issues such as e-discovery management and motion practice relating to e-discovery.