Canada declares high-speed broadband universal right

Canada has declared high-speed broadband a universal right for its citizens.

Nearly 1 million rural Canadians lack broadband access, so their government took action to fix the problem. The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission – Canada’s FCC – ruled that all citizens should have access to 50/10 Mbps broadband Internet service at home and unlimited data on their mobile phones. The country plans to invest $750 million, much of it from the private sector, to bring high-speed Internet to rural communities.

There are currently 34 million Americans – including 23 million in rural areas – without broadband access, and the FCC’s current broadband definition is, by comparison, a slower 25/3 Mbps.

Canada’s attempt to achieve digital equality comes after Ireland moved to make high-speed broadband a legal, universal right in its National Broadband Plan and the United Nations Human Rights Council declared Internet access a basic human right.

 

Links:

Canada is about to give all its residents access to high-speed internet (The Daily Dot, Dec. 22, 2016)

CRTC Submission to the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda (CRTC, Dec. 21, 2016)

Ireland to make high-speed broadband a legal right (Speed Matters, June 13, 2016)

Internet Access Is Now A Basic Human Right (Gizmodo, July 4, 2016)