Internet access as a human right? A Canadian politician thinks so

By Justin Mann on
It wasn't all that long ago when having a broadband connection at home made you feel very fancy. Dial-up was the norm for many years, and early broadband connections were extremely pricey. Things have changed rapidly, and people have come to depend on having an always-on connection at their fingertips. That has led some people to pretend that Internet access is a right, not a luxury or an option, and is something that should be provided to everyone.

In the face of this and an upcoming November election, a Canadian politician has begun spreading the word and even filed a complaint with the local Human Rights Commission over the lack of high-speed broadband available to some rural residents.

This same kind of concept could be applied to many other nations where a large number of citizens live in rural areas. But should local or state governments be involved in deploying Internet access to these areas? Are enough people critically dependent on the Internet to warrant it as a required service? Decades ago the telephone was more of a luxury than an expectation. Could be the Internet following that same path?

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