Broadband as a human right will save our libraries

Map of the Interwebs
I first heard about this concept on a Twist Image Media Hacks discussion and I was immediately intrigued: Finland recently made broadband a human right.

A human right.

Think about that.

The idea is that access to information is a basic human right (which is why everyone is granted a library card). So by that argument, these countries are saying that broadband ensures a level playing field: residents of any locale should be able to get access to the riches of junk and spam information that live on the Internet.

From a Computer Weekly article on the ITU's briefing to the UN: "ITU secretary-general Hamadoun Touré said broadband access was a "tipping point" for economic development."

First of all, Malcolm Gladwell thanks you.

Secondly, WOW.

In hundred of years when archaeologists (by then, likely data archivists) study our culture, they will cite our civilization's basic human rights as being: freedom, safety, food, water, shelter... and a web connection?

I get the spirit of it, but here's my question: what if they don't have devices to get to that information? To use that broadband? Basic local TV channels and radio stations are free but you need to buy your own tv or radio or go somewhere where you can see/hear the broadcast.

How is broadband any different? ISPs will have to deliver it, but you'll still have to buy it. Making it a right at this point just makes sure that ISPs deliver broadband to your 'hood. That still doesn't get you online. Better keep funding those libraries; looks like they are still our delivery mechanism for information.

And you thought they were in danger!

Talk back: Have you heard about this move to make broadband a human right? Do you agree? Leave a message!

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