Ask Slashdot: Should the Internet Be A Public Utility?
The pandemic has “confirmed conclusively that the web must be a public utility,” argues Quartz. “It’s a primary necessity in the 21st century, like operating water, fuel, and electrical energy. Indeed, the United Nations in 2016 declared that web entry is a human proper.”
Sure, you might theoretically survive with out it, simply as you may mild your property with candles or heat it by hearth. Just as you could possibly arguably trek to the closest freshwater supply and stroll again with buckets of the life-sustaining stuff. But in rich societies, like the U.S., these are absurd notions. Living beneath such situations is just about inconceivable and endangers everybody… [T]hough now we have an entire lot of social woes to take care of proper now — urgent medical and financial wants — it isn’t too quickly to acknowledge that web service suppliers’ earnings aren’t the prime precedence and that lack of entry exacerbates present class divides….
Increasingly, cities, cities, and states are taking a detailed have a look at Chattanooga, Tennessee, which constructed its personal high-speed fiber-optic web community in 2009. A 2018 Consumer Reports survey discovered the metropolis’s broadband was rated finest in the US. There are already greater than 500 communities nationwide working public networks or leveraging their large contracts with broadband suppliers to make sure free wiring of colleges, libraries, and different publicly-accessible wifi hotspots. This patchwork method to public entry is taking maintain throughout the U.S. and there’s a rising understanding that web entry is a social challenge that needs to be addressed by governments, not non-public firms working with revenue as their sole motivator.
Perhaps after the pandemic panic offers technique to a brand new state of normalcy, the folks will demand cheap and dependable high-quality broadband, and perhaps non-public web service suppliers should sing a special tune.
An nameless reader requested how precisely this might be achieved, and long-time Slashdot reader Futurepower(R) advised cities and cities ought to personal the fiber traces, after which lease it out “to as many Internet-providing firms as have an interest.”
But the unique submission additionally asks, “If you are not satisfied but, why not?” So share your personal opinions in the feedback.
Should the web be a public utility?