One country which managed to outstrip my prior imagination of it is Finland. My home has lots of Finnish stuff in it, mostly practical, I have to say.

Finland has 60,000 lakes, much of it is covered in ice and snow for several months of the year. One of the biggest reasons for deaths on Finnish roads is not just drinking (absolutely kielletty to drink and drive) but Elks. Elk-related rtas are about contribute half as many road deaths as drink driving. Hit an elk and you know about it. In Finland, you live in the woods. In Helsinki you sit cheek by jowl with ministers of state and fishermen, on the many wharfside cafes. In Finland you can look glum without people asking if you are alright. Finland has become wealthy by moving with the times. Nokia, for example began by manufacturing tree fiber-based communications media, also known as paper, and later moved on to phones. Finland joined the EU, without a referendum, but the less said about that, the better.

And so it is that the Finns have announced that Broadband internet is now classed as a legal right.

It is not easy to make that kind of deal in a country as geographically challenged as Finland, but then again, they don't cancel trains when it snows either.

So at first, they are only saying it should be 1 Mbps, but its a start. I only get 2-3 Mbps and I have the top package from BT and I live less than 15 miles from the Capital of Scotland.

With an entire population less than that of London, the Finns are now well ahead in the broadband revolution. Friends. We are fucked.


banned said...

I've had 10Mbps fibre optic broadband for several years ( and could upgrade that if I thought it necessary ) so am not impressed at all by BTs boast to roll out 2Mbps nationwide.
I have always had a soft spot for Finland ever since reading a novel that pointed out just why it ended up being on the 'wrong' side in WW2 but declaring broadband to be a 'human right' is just plain silly.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Banned - You cannot fail to be impressed by a country that kept the USSR from invading it, which it could quite easily have done.

Tiresias said...

Can recommend 'The Winter War' by William R Trotter and, if you can get hold of it, Paradox in Paradise by Philip MacCann, winner of the Shiva Naipaul Memorial Prize, 1999 (Spectator 05.06.99).

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Thank you Tiresias. That's two of us that still reads books then.

Tiresias said...

A nugget from my second citation: Finland was the only country to pay off its WWII reparations in entirety.

As to their reputation for taciturnity, there is an Estonian joke which goes …

Father and son, sitting on a log in a forest clearing.

Father: Look at that dog!

(An hour passes in total silence)

Son: It was not a dog. It was a fox.

(Another hour passes in total silence)

Father: My son, do not be so argumentative.

[End of joke. Chacun a son gout.]

subrosa said...

Now I can't sit here for long as yet, but I heard on radio this week that Finland has the highest standard of education anywhere in Europe.

Remind me when my sight's better to google that fact WW.