Almost four in five people around the world believe that access to the internet is a fundamental right, says a BBC World Service poll.
The survey – of more than 27,000 adults across 26 countries – found strong support for net access on both sides of the digital divide.
Countries such as Finland and Estonia have already ruled that access is a human right for their citizens.
International bodies such as the UN are also pushing for universal net access.
Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), told BBC News that governments must “regard the internet as basic infrastructure – just like roads, waste and water”.
This is what I’ve been saying for a while. I first wrote about it last July.
There’s been a lot of discussion about this issue in recent times in countries right around the world. Not much in New Zealand, though, other than via this blog and no doubt a few other forums, such as Internet NZ and other web communities.
The National Government don’t seem interested. I’ve been writing about it for a while and believe that we there must be a public discussion soon about these issues.
As a government, you can’t be introducing a new piece of major infrastructure (ultrafast broadband) without seriously considering what it can and should be used for and who should have access. But this one is.
Note that this government is quiet on all these issues, as well as the issues of universal access. People who live in rural areas will receive a lesser broadband service than those who live in cities. And there’s no plan yet on when and how they’ll receive that service, in either urban or rural New Zealand.
Once again New Zealand is lagging in the important debates being had around the world. What sort of a message are we sending to our citizens?
Instead we get this sort of commentary. Where it’s being argued in one of our major newspapers that the internet isn’t a right, it’s a privilege! Well that attitude is certainly going to close the digital divide isn’t it! What does Steven Joyce have to say about it?