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Is access to adequate and reliable broadband a human right?

Oct16

Written by:
2013/10/16 07:43 AM RssIcon

Human Rights! What are they? So many issues surrounding Human rights. They are abused, and some are even made up to either puff up our ego or hide some criminal action or intent.

Rights and freedom have existed throughout human history. Most of the time they were generally accepted and implied. Like the right to live, and the right to defend yourself. But in the modern world and in many countries human rights and been legislated into law.

Then we have the right to water and the right to protection. The right to a fair trial, freedom of speech and movement.  We have all heard the lines from Holy Wood, “You have the right to remain silent”. Most human rights are aimed at giving humans the right to live, survive, and be happy.

I’m not going to go into all the listed human rights. But what I do want to draw your attention to is this topic of the right to reliable and adequate broadband. The question is, can it be considered a human right? I mean not having it will not harm us in any way, it will not cause us distress. It will not diminish our living conditions. We will not starve or go hungry. What’s all the fuss about.

Are we just turning into a species where we believe we have the right to anything and everything.

United Nations commission made, what many might consider an outlandish statement when it declared, unambiguously, that broadband access is a basic human right, right up there with the right to healthcare, shelter and food.

Now this was not reference to 56k Dial-Up access, but to fast reliable Broadband access.

Now this might be old hat to some of you, but to us here in South Africa, and other parts of the world, where Broadband is still very expensive and only available to a select few, this kind of statement is very important.

Some questions one might ask, should organisation be trying to make loads of money out of a declared human right? Where does one draw the line to the cost of infrastructure and the right to knowledge and broadband?

What about this, is capping and shaping, and disconnecting broadband access a Human Rights Violation? If Access to reliable and fast broadband is a Human Right, then ISP’s and Telecoms companies, should not be doing this and should then answer to their actions of Human Rights Violations.

Here is a clip from 2011 I think.

A report from the Human Rights Council of the United Nations General Assembly declares access to the Internet a basic human right.

My question to you is this. DO you consider access to fast and reliable broadband a basic human right, and what are you doing about it?

Let’s have a debate and conversation about this in the comments below.

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