Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Broadband Access: Right or service?

Lately my research into information policy has lead me to an old hobby of mine. Trying to obtain broadband access for the masses of rural America. Where I came from broadband access was very late in arriving on the scene. To this day, there is only one choice in broadband ISP, no I will not divulge the company's name.

Suffice to say, as my friends all over the country and some not so far away, 15 miles away at most, were getting broadband Internet access my house and little town of 5,000 people were left out clutching onto our unshielded twisted pair wires to the telephone company.

I am a strong proponent for widespread diffusion of broadband technologies, but I would like to find an answer to the following question. Is broadband Internet access a right or service?

Depending on who you discuss the topic with, it could be either. I myself believe it to be a service, but a necessary service. Broadband Internet access can be likened to such things as potable water, electricity, and education. The U.S. has, in the past, made great strides in all three categories, why should broadband Internet access be any different. If the country would have relied upon the 'market' to spread electricity, potable water, and education among the rural communities of the country we might find a very different countryside.

Yet my question of whether broadband Internet access is a right or service has not been fully answered. The answer is that broadband Internet access is only a service, but a necessary service like electricity, potable water, and education that should be made available to everyone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You may have already seen this and, if not, you may not even be interested in it. But, just in case....
I came across it when checking out the stories in my own bloglinks. The brief news item has to do with open access and net neutrality. Here's the url: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070913/144349.shtml.