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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Should Fast Broadband Be Considered a Human Right?

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Though it may not seem as tangible as food or water, the internet has become an undeniably important resource in our everyday life.

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And while it may seem initially dramatic to equate the usage of the internet with human rights, the more you reflect on just how much we use the internet and the types of things we rely on it for, the more sense it actually behind to make.

Having fast and reliable access to the internet in your homes is something that can be taken for granted, but for those without it, there are severe disadvantages that have real-world consequences, which can impact negatively in one’s quality of life.

Long are the days were the internet was just a meet convenience, as many of the tasks that were carried out online are legitimate necessities such as booking doctors appointment, playing of bills, corresponding with the government in regards to tax and also shopping for essential items have now all loved away from the high street and the postal systems, which leave those who aren’t able to rely on their connection somewhat left behind.

While there are still some conversations to be had regarding affordability and usage tracking, the first port of calls is to ensure complete coverage, which has yet to be achieved. Now backed by the UN, who have dubbed internet access a fundamental human right, these laws have international jurisdiction, which makes them just as important in the United States as they would be in the United Kingdom who happens to be two nations what could drastically improve their broadband coverage.

For those living in states like New Jersey and Connecticut will also benefit from the highest average internet speeds and coverage, with over 99% of people having access to a high-speed internet connection in either state. In rigid contrast, however, residents of Montana are only offered average speeds up to 30 Mbps which is slower than the best available, with the coverage just stretching to 69.2% of homes, leaving almost 30% of the state with internet broadband.

A clear statistical relationship between the most densely populated areas receiving the most excellent coverage (New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts make up the remaining top five) and more rural states receiving a much lower level of internet service (Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming are the other states that are worst off) its not that hard to track how internet providers followed demand, but that should not make those in harder to reach areas less of a priority anymore.

Similarly, in the UK, the government is now a ring in response to similar levels of coverage, with plans to provide over 1.1 million premises (4%) with the option of high-speed internet coverage that doesn’t already have it. Already behind quite embarrassingly compared to the rest of Europe where the use of fibre optics is concerned, small businesses and those residing in remote locations are suffering the worst, while some are entirely located off the grid. In other cases, the businesses and residents have even had to fork out themselves to part fund the installation of the infrastructure that is required for the broadband. This goes to tell you the extent some people are willing to go and how important the internet is to some, without the coverage many would require more financial help to get by.

While it may not be so tangible as foodstuffs or water, the internet has become an undeniably important resource in modern life, and it’s only right that it’s given the right level of importance to match with it.

If you have any thoughts about this article, let us know in the comments section below.

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