Net access a basic human right: Study

By Anne Collier

The US’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is not alone in saying everybody should have broadband Internet access. The UK government has promised to deliver universal broadband by 2012, and the EU is also committed to providing universal access via broadband. In fact, basic Net access is coming to be seen as a fundamental human right. “Almost four in five people around the world believe that access to the Internet is a fundamental right,” the BBC reports, citing a survey of more than 27,000 people in 26 countries. The BBC said its survey found that 87% of internet users view Net access this way, and 70% of non-users do. “International bodies such as the UN are also pushing for universal net access,” the BBC adds, pointing also to Dr. Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union, as saying the Net is now basic infrastructure, such as “roads, waste [removal] and water” because the ability to participate is essential in a “knowledge society.” How about you – do you see Net access (among many other things, of course) as a basic right for everybody? Pls comment here or in the ConnectSafely forum. Meanwhile, “the internet is among a record 237 individuals and organisations nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize,” the BBC reports in a separate article, beating last year’s record of 205 nominations. [See also “UN Child Rights Convention: How about online rights?”]

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