Internet access should be a fundamental right: Aussie experts

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Melbourne, May 31 (ANI): Internet has become such an integral part of people's lifestyle that technology experts in Australia are calling for access to it to be enshrined as a fundamental right.

The appeal has come keeping in mind the stringent laws that govern Internet usage in Australia which allow for prohibition of Internet access. Experts fear enforcement of such laws, which could lead to disempowerment and isolation of the concerned user.

Almost two-thirds of Australian homes - more than 5 million households - now have broadband access, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

According to The Age, the federal government wants to expand this access via the planned $43 billion national broadband network, which aims to connect 90 per cent of Australian homes to a high-speed network of 100 megabits per second. The rest would be connected using wireless and satellite technologies.

The request is not the first one of its kind, legal guarantees for Internet access are already in place in France and Greece.

"Access to the internet is both a gateway to other rights and a right unto itself," the paper quoted Internet community activist Brett Solomon, as saying, he also described it as "essential to the enjoyment of one's basic human rights".

He said online access was central to freedom of expression. "Without access ... citizens cannot fully participate in modern democracy," he said. (ANI)

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