EU set to demand broadband access for all

If you're living in a part of the EU that has yet to be reached by broadband internet access, then help could be at hand from the European Commission.

The European Commission is about to begin a review of the communications services available to EU citizens and, if it finds a majority of them use broadband, then it will likely mandate that it must be made available to everyone.

EU Rules called the Universal Service Obligations cover what member states must provide to citizens. When usage of any service passes 50 per cent of the EU, that service is considered essential and must be made universal.

The scheduled review has been brought forward because Commissioners realised that the rapid growth of broadband will probably hit the threshold before long.

Should that happen, telecoms companies across Europe could be forced to expand their networks to even the most remote areas as early as 2010.

At the same time, the minimum speed considered acceptable is likely to be raised from the current 28.8Kbit/s. It's nice, but how about a slice of that Japanese 1Gbit/s pie, eh?

View: TechRadar

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When usage of any service passes 50 per cent of the EU, that service is considered essential and must be made universal.

Wow, this law is great!

Does food count? haha :D

P.S. imho some people have problems defining what "universal" means in this context.

(zhiVago said @ #13)

Wow, this law is great!

Does food count? haha :D

P.S. imho some people have problems defining what "universal" means in this context.


err yup food counts..

the availability of food is universal in the EU last time i checked... yep no shortages here!!

this article is not about making it available for free!

read the first couple of comments (not the whole page) and i think people have the wrong idea. What its saying is currently in uk for example telco company BT for ex are only legally obliged to provide a telephone line and 56k dial up. However weith the changing pace of life and the internet telco regulations are being reviewed because lets be honest what good is 56k dial up these days. It could mean the regulaitons are rewrittewn to say that as a bare minimum BT for ex have to provide a minimum of 1MB broadband which to be honest is a good thing because the telephone networks in this country are **** poor. At least thats how i read the article.

What's with all the ignorance? This is not the EU giving free stuff to people. Running water, sewage, electricity and telephone are already in the same category (and having a wired telephone line most likely warrants your internet access anyway). What they want to do is put broadband internet in the same category, which was bound to happen anyway. Everybody should have access to internet (and nobody's saying free, or government funded. or does the govnt pays your water, electricity and phone bills?). And broadband here will probably mean 1-3 Mbps since that's probably the lowest common broadband speed, at least in western europe.

I think the difficulty some people have with this story is considering broadband internet a necessity. It's weird enough thinking of any sort of internet as a necessity. I mean, it's just the internet. The broadband side of it is purely entertainment, and to call one kind of entertainment a necessity is laughable. From another perspective, any public services that can be accessed online (filing taxes, contacting your politicians, etc) are not significantly slower on dialup than on broadband.

I just don't understand what this sort of thing has to do with government. I can maybe understand government stepping in to protect consumers from bad business practices, but that's stopping actions. This is demanding action. This is mandating the spending of non-government money for the "good of the people".

That scares the hell out of me.

This has everything to do with the government and its complicated:
Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae
I dont want to hijack this thread any further. These are the culprits. Social program forced its way into the private sector and blew it up.

Governments can step in for certain services. For example, they can privatize public transport but still can mandate services to run to certain areas at certain times, even while it might not be so profitable for the private company to do so. Or they might privatize the land lines but mandate services to rural areas, although the private company would normally never do it. It is to make sure that public gets services and they don't become the victims of decisions only made with profit in mind.

In this context, EU sees broadband internet connection as a service every EU citizen is entitled to get even while it might not be very profitable for private companies to provide them with.

(solardog said @ #9.1)
This has everything to do with the government and its complicated:
Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae
I dont want to hijack this thread any further. These are the culprits. Social program forced its way into the private sector and blew it up.

Baloney. Corporate greed, and Reaganomics, are responsible for this mess. Regulations are needed for a very good reason because of this.

(Foub said @ #9.3)

Baloney. Corporate greed, and Reaganomics, are responsible for this mess. Regulations are needed for a very good reason because of this.

And what President deregulated mortgages and banking?

To the people asking the US to do something like this: Good luck on that; your government is bankrupt. And most of you can forget about the outrageous debt you want to rack up by buying things you don't need; thanks to the coming credit tightening.

Learn to live within your means.

Well Mike, I guess you need to do some home work before talking about external debt.

UK (for your information a EU country) external debt: $8.28 trillion - with a population of 60 million
US external debt: $10.04 trillion - with a population of 300 million

All other big EU countries (such as Germany and France) have also greater external debt per capita than the US.

(ricknl said @ #8.1)
Well Mike, I guess you need to do some home work before talking about external debt.

UK (for your information a EU country) external debt: $8.28 trillion - with a population of 60 million
US external debt: $10.04 trillion - with a population of 300 million

All other big EU countries (such as Germany and France) have also greater external debt per capita than the US.

x) Ouch. lol

What's bad is what countries are supporting all this debt. A good thing to know is that whoever owns your debt, owns your people. They can blackmail you or your country into anything.

(ricknl said @ #8.1)
Well Mike, I guess you need to do some home work before talking about external debt.

UK (for your information a EU country) external debt: $8.28 trillion - with a population of 60 million
US external debt: $10.04 trillion - with a population of 300 million

All other big EU countries (such as Germany and France) have also greater external debt per capita than the US.


Check here for a good list:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_count...y_external_debt

Anyway, that is not really the point; everyone here in Denmark has a whole lot of debt, but, the difference is that we can pay that debt, in the US people are increasingly going bankrupt and that is the real danger.

(ricknl said @ #8.1)
Well Mike, I guess you need to do some home work before talking about external debt.

UK (for your information a EU country) external debt: $8.28 trillion - with a population of 60 million
US external debt: $10.04 trillion - with a population of 300 million

All other big EU countries (such as Germany and France) have also greater external debt per capita than the US.

Canada's and it is on the decline.

http://www.ndir.com/SI/education/debt.shtml

(Shadow Dragon said @ #8.3)

Its amazing to see just how much lower China's debt is in comparison to the US'.

Anyway, that is not really the point; everyone here in Denmark has a whole lot of debt, but, the difference is that we can pay that debt, in the US people are increasingly going bankrupt and that is the real danger.

Exactly.

(ricknl said @ #8.1)
Well Mike, I guess you need to do some home work before talking about external debt.

UK (for your information a EU country) external debt: $8.28 trillion - with a population of 60 million
US external debt: $10.04 trillion - with a population of 300 million

All other big EU countries (such as Germany and France) have also greater external debt per capita than the US.


That is large, but then I found this quote:

See paragraph “External sustainability” in http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2006/cr0686.pdf from IMF - "The U.K.’s role as an international financial center implies large gross external assets and liabilities..."

(ricknl said @ #8.1)
Well Mike, I guess you need to do some home work before talking about external debt.

UK (for your information a EU country) external debt: $8.28 trillion - with a population of 60 million
US external debt: $10.04 trillion - with a population of 300 million

All other big EU countries (such as Germany and France) have also greater external debt per capita than the US.

And? I don't care what debt other countries have; ours (us) isn't sustainable. And a Credit Card crisis is next.

(Shadow Dragon said @ #8.3)

Check here for a good list:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_count...y_external_debt

Anyway, that is not really the point; everyone here in Denmark has a whole lot of debt, but, the difference is that we can pay that debt, in the US people are increasingly going bankrupt and that is the real danger.

Don't mistake a bunch of bad Home Loans with general debt, the problem is the banks were forced into giving bad loans to people they knew couldn't afford it to avoid being called Racists

(z0phi3l said @ #8.8)

Don't mistake a bunch of bad Home Loans with general debt, the problem is the banks were forced into giving bad loans to people they knew couldn't afford it to avoid being called Racists


Come again? You're actually seriously saying that banks gave out highly risky loans just so people wouldn't see them as racist? Honestly - and I don't say this lightly - that has to be the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time.
I'm going to try to educate you on this matter by giving you a very simplified version of the problem:

Banks make money off of loans. There are people who make money off of getting customers/loaners for the banks.
The problem here was that the people who were supposed to find responsible loaners became too greedy and instead got people who could barely pay anything. The banks were too greedy as well and completely relied on the positive market to make them a profit (they allowed loans that could only work if the market kept going well).
Then when the market started to turn in the negative direction, the people couldn't pay and the banks couldn't run.

Now what makes it all worse is that this sets off a chain reaction were house prices plummet (because of the increased number of auctions), banks go bankrupt, stock prices fall etc., and this is what we characterize as a crisis.

1Gbps is NOTHING.
I found out the other day my college has a 6Gbps link with the other colleges in the area, and downloads at 97Mbps off speedtest. I'm on business internet for my server and I get about 8Mbps, WTF!

Yeah but your college probably has a leased line between sites (Same sorta thing as my Uni). I have a habbit of doing speed tests at Uni as well (I get about 40Mbps speed test results) It's nice to dream :)

Unfortunatly, speeds of 6Gbps is really unrealistic for home users using current infrastructure. THe Uni can do it as they pay a hell of a lot of money for those links.

But hey as I said, it's nice to dream

Oh boy! More government involvement. So, lets say you have a town with 200 people, and the nearest "big" city (10,000 or more) is 100 miles away. Now you have to support this little town, with maybe 10 people who would probably want high speed internet (or they would have moved to a BIG city by now). The (phone/cable or whatever) has to run the cables, and wire the entire town. Guess the rest of you are going to enjoy the HIGHER rates, just to subsidize a few people?

Yeah, and a small town that wants electricity and phone service? To hell with 'em, why should we wire them up?

We should wire them up because electricity is seen as a necessary service to a modern society. Roads, access to water, waste management - these are all viewed as necessary services to the modern society. It may seem laughable to call the internet is a necessary service at this point in time, but it's quickly getting there (if it isn't there already).

I don't see how this is going to work, that's a pretty expensive demand.

Hey US politicians, how about doing a policy like that for your people?

(Angel Blue01 said @ #3)
I don't see how this is going to work, that's a pretty expensive demand.

Hey US politicians, how about doing a policy like that for your people?

Something similar is working in Croatia. Speeds are up to 16mbits, but coverage is getting better every day. If you don't have ADSL, you can have 3G with up to 7.2mbits and that's not bad

(Angel Blue01 said @ #1)
Hey US politicians, how about doing a policy like that for your people?

That would never happen - we can barely keep our banks (at least some/most of them) from collapsing on us. *sigh*

(Angel Blue01 said @ #3)
I don't see how this is going to work, that's a pretty expensive demand.

This was my first thought too, but I'm sure it was the same once upon a time for electricity and water

I imagine the cost of providing it to all will be felt by raising existing prices significantly, which is a shame...

or is it going to be the governments responsibility to improve the infrastructure? in which case, i would expect there to be a tax hike somewhere along the line...

either way, it will cost!

(Tikitiki said @ #3.2)

That would never happen - we can barely keep our banks (at least some/most of them) from collapsing on us. *sigh*


And how is this the Governments fault? Badly run businesses go under, what a novel concept, and only because capitalism, not government forces businesses to run right or go out of business

(z0phi3l said @ #3.4)
And how is this the Governments fault? Badly run businesses go under, what a novel concept, and only because capitalism, not government forces businesses to run right or go out of business

Governments fault due to a lck of tazes to afford to keep the banks afloat- but low tazes are needed now to keep the economy afloat. It's ironic- moar tazes save banks, less tazes save people (on average) and keep jobs.

The US Government cannot do this sort of thing because it cannot afford to, it isn't tazing you enough to do so. But it's a good thing, honest. Less tazes= more money for you to spend on (hopefully domestic) products. Giving people jobs. And they can make money. And buy stuff, etc...

EDIT:
Okay, I kinda messed up my alignment on the KB, but not retyping... It's TAXES, not TAZES. Though they both hurt.

Great news. It would be very nice if they can force the companies to upgrade their infrastructure. The Chinese/Korean/Japanese internet speeds are awesome.

(KavazovAngel said @ #2)
Great news. It would be very nice if they can force the companies to upgrade their infrastructure. The Chinese/Korean/Japanese internet speeds are awesome.

Even US ISPs can offer those speeds, they choose not to because Cities and states don't force them to and also because ISPs have over sold their bandwidth, hence why Comcast is "enforcing" new monthly caps.