Friday, March 12, 2010
It’s feasible that free wireless Internet service will one day (perhaps sooner than you think) be made available worldwide.
Earlier this week, the results of a BBC study revealed that 80% of people believe that Internet access is a fundamental right.
The emphasis of this study should be that the figure represents the sentiments of people worldwide, not just in 1st-world countries:
“27,000 adults across 26 countries – found strong support for Internet 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.”
If most of us consider Internet access a fundamental right – similar to free speech – it’s not hard to imagine that free, universal Internet access will one day be available.
The Internet would probably be treated like a public service such as the public library—free access to a wealth of information to citizens of any income level.
Of course, just like with any public service, the Internet wouldn’t be completely free. We’d be charged some type of tax on it, but the combined cost would be less than what we currently pay for our Internet connections. It’s a bill I would vote for!
The government-run Internet service would have serious implications for current Internet providers, but the shift would be beneficial to the public.
The overwhelming support for Internet access says a lot about how much we value our connectivity, and how quickly this value has built over a relatively short time—over the past decade or so.
It’s hard to imagine that my parents thought that a website was “unnecessary” and “useless” when I suggested that they establish one for their business in the late 1990s.
Now, having an Internet presence is invaluable.
Anyone’s who’s anyone has a website, Facebook, and Twitter — and a smartphone to connect to them all. What started out as a quirky, geeky fad has turned into a new way of life.
Oh how the world turns, tweets, and updates.