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Spain Codifies the "Right To Broadband"

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the don't-cut-me-off-bro dept.

The Internet 312

Reader adeelarshad82 writes to lets us know that Spain has now codified a "Right to Broadband," thus following the lead of Finland. Spain's industry minister announced that citizens will have a legal right from 2011 to be able to buy broadband Internet access of at least 1 Mb/sec at a regulated price wherever they live. The telecoms operator holding the so-called "universal service" contract would have to guarantee it could offer "reasonably" priced broadband throughout Spain.

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First Post from Spain (-1, Offtopic)

srussia (884021) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141500)

n/t

Before people start complaining that its only 1mb (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141540)

Don't blame the Spanish for setting a relatively 'low' speed requirement, blame the modern slew of Web developers who insist on bloating their pages with graphics, animation and JavaShit that only their own Core 2 Trio can handle. Blame the guys who insist on using verbose protocols without compression, blame the guys who maintain that 'Web applications' are the past, present and future. Using a web application makes as much sense as using a satellite phone to talk to the guy standing next to you

Give modern hipster web devs more bandwidth and they *will* abuse the shit out of it to make their sites look ever so slightly better than the next guy's site, but it's all fluff. I actually know some guys developing a 'web app' where you can upload videos to have them converted into another format. Which I must say is a nice novelty or even somewhat useful if everyone on your 10GbE lan has a shitty machine except for one high end server but kids these days are so dumb that they would rather use one of these web converters than to download something and actually minimise their browsers for two seconds while they use it.

Re:Before people start complaining that its only 1 (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141596)

Maybe I'm answering to a flamebait, but theres nothing wrong with web applications. Many people want to have their email in webmail instead of using a client. Many people write to forums, news sites and sites like slashdot instead of newsgroups (as you seem to do too). Many people are perfectly fine using twitter and facebook for communicating (facebook even has that IM "client"). And because bandwidth is considerably cheap now a days (well in some countries at least, and it's getting there everywhere too), it becomes easier for people to upload a video file to a web service to convert it to another format than to download all the required codecs and find a software that can do it. Remember that majority of people aren't geeks.

That doesn't mean there's no desktop application alternatives and that you couldn't use them. I do for email, IM and many more things because it suits me better. But it doesn't mean other people couldn't do otherwise.

If you do not like those web applications developed by "modern hipster web devs", just don't use them and let people who like them use.

(and 1mbps is the minimum guaranteed speed in the news)

Re:Before people start complaining that its only 1 (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141688)

You've confused efficiency with convenience.

A good developer will attend to function first and form second. Part of function is efficiency.
A bad developer barely even understands the concept of efficiency and function is frequently their last priority - just barely enough of a requirement to justify the site in the first place.

Look at slashdot for fuck's sake - you can't even metamod without javascript.
Like we need fucking javascript to click a fucking radio button for good/bad/no-rating?

Re:Before people start complaining that its only 1 (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141792)

a good web developer focuses on form _and_ function. In web development space, at least, they are equally important. things have to look as good as well as they perform. why is it that people always think it has to be one or the other.

maybe at slashdot at least, people here generally prefer the function part.

Re:Before people start complaining that its only 1 (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141904)

In our day, we dint av any of these fancy bloody web applications.

We had to make do with everythin in 24 point Times New Roman Marquee, in black, white, cyan or magenta mind you. And for graphics we ad ASCII art. And none of this bloody Javascript nonsense either. If you wanted to submit a form, you filled it in bloody right the first time, and then submitted it ... if you'd fucked something up, you ad to redo the bloody thing from scratch as a lesson to be more bloody careful next time.

Now git off my lawn.

(As a side note, bearing in mind how long it takes to actually POST a comment to Slashdot, would these guys seriously be happy with even more "Whoa Space Cowboy, you didn't choose a radio option" error messages ?)

Re:Before people start complaining that its only 1 (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142530)

things have to look as good as well as they perform. why is it that people always think it has to be one or the other.

Because "both" requires smart web developers, and they're a scarce resource.

Re:Before people start complaining that its only 1 (3, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141810)

"A good developer will attend to function first and form second."
Depends on the application...

"Part of function is efficiency."
And part of efficiency/functionality is form.

Form == Function (2, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142296)

A good developer will attend to function first and form second.

A function that is not exposed in a form users can understand might as well not exist at all.

Re:Form == Function (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142598)

Perfectly nice to use stuff that's not bought serves no purpose also. Is marketing first, then?

No, of course not. Barely working but pretty software is worse than perfectly working but somewhat ugly. If you don't agree you can go back to Win95.

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Re:Before people start complaining that its only 1 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142138)

Speaking as a 'modern hipster web dev', I think our apps are unpopular here because we tend to be better looking, more popular, more intelligent and earn more money than the average Slashbot/geek with a chip on his shoulder.

Not a "right"! (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141544)

This is not a "right" to anything. These people need to look up the definition and history of what a "right" is.

This is merely a law that regulates the Internet providers, requiring them to offer service to everybody for a regulated price. That's a regulation on the business side, not a "right" on the consumer's side. There is a pretty big difference. If it were a "right", it would not cost anything.

We have similar laws. For example, within certain geographical limits, my local utility is required to offer me electricity at a regulated rate, no matter who I am. It's exactly the same kind of law. But that doesn't mean I have a "right" to electricity! If I get too far behind on my bill it can get shut off. It's merely the ability to buy something, not a "right" to it. If I had a "right" to electricity, nobody could legally shut it off.

Re:Not a "right"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141582)

You have the right to have water in your house and you have to pay for it. The right says that you can have broadband despite it is not profitable for the company.

Re:Not a "right"! (4, Informative)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141588)

It's a right to buy.

Re:Not a "right"! (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142274)

Yesterday I heard people saying it's okay for President Obama to block FOX's access to the white house press pool. They said "FOX has a right to freedom of the press. They don't have the right to access." Couldn't the same argument be made about internet? You have the right to buy any product you want, but that doesn't mean you have a right to broadband access. Everyone already had dialup access. Thoughts? Objections?

(No this is not a troll. This is the Socratic method (asking questions; making people think).)

Re:Not a "right"! (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142422)

No, a similar argument couldn't be made. I have a right to free speech however I do not have the right to libel anybody I wish. I have the right to swing my fist, but it stops at somebody else's nose.

Fox News has a right to free speech, but they don't have the right to force people on the air so that they can engage in their style of sleazy news reporting.

And it's not really the same at all, not even close, Fox News doesn't further the discourse in this country. Whereas people really do need to have broadband to properly participate in the nation. It's difficult enough to keep up with the affairs of state when things are continuously being moved over to the internet if you don't have a decent connection. Especially resources which are bandwidth intensive. This should be something that we've done in the US, as soon as government services started to migrate online.

Re:Not a "right"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142572)

The argument that they have no right to access to the white house is the same for some kid who writes for his college newspaper having no access to white house press conferences. The White House only has limited space for press and they choose to use it on legitimate national news organizations and some regional press. Fox News is not legitimate and the trash they report can't really qualify as news. The First Amendment guarantees that the government doesn't hinder speech, not that the government must accommodate it.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142736)

You certainly could say that, if you wanted to; but that isn't what the Spanish did.

Ignoring the (idealistically interesting but practically useless) quibbling about whether some rights are "natural" and merely enforced by law and others are "artificial" and created by law, you can pretty much define a "right" in any form.

You could say: "You have the right to buy any product you want; but no particular right to have any product offered to you".

You could say: "You have the right to buy any product you want; and certain classes of products must be offered on RAND terms".

Or you could say: "You have the right to buy any product you want; and, for this particular product, you have the right to have offered to you for sale a version that is at least of x quality".

They seem to have gone for the third, more or less. Nothing obligated them to, they could have gone for either of the others; but nothing obviously prevents them from going with this one.

Re:Not a "right"! (4, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141608)

It's a right to get at least a 1mbps internet connection at reasonable price. It is still a right.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142286)

I only have 0.7 Mbit/sec. I don't consider my rights to have been violated. High-speed access is a *luxury* not a right, same as having an Honda Acura instead of a cheap Honda econocar is a luxury not a right.

Re:Not a "right"! (2, Insightful)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142372)

I only have 0.7 Mbit/sec. I don't consider my rights to have been violated. High-speed access is a *luxury* not a right, same as having an Honda Acura instead of a cheap Honda econocar is a luxury not a right.

That is your opinion. However, in Spain and in Finland They The People have chosen otherwise.

However, that concept stems from the idea that rights are a human concept which people decide everyone is entitled to, not something which all men have because another man interpreting a possible non-existant man in the sky said so.

Re:Not a "right"! (1, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142438)

Rights don't come from the Man in the Sky. Rights come from being human beings. Like instincts. They are a natural consequence of man's desire to be liberated.

However when you rob your neighbors wallets to buy some poor person a car, or house, or internet, then you've infringed upon your neighbors' freedoms (theft of labor). Nobody has a right to harm another in this fashion.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142568)

Right. You tell that Spanish motherfucker what his documents mean. Obviously, you can read English better than he can.

Re:Not a "right"! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141668)

Then, all the spanish constitution is wrong.
It says things like "you have the right of a worthy house"
(meaning that the government will try that everybody should be able to buy a acceptable house)

(Sorry for my horrible english).

Re:Not a "right"! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142086)

Wrong! It says, literally: "All the Spanish people have the right to enjoy decent and adequate housing" That doesn't mean you have the right to OWN one.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142118)

It's fun when rights are subdivided into tiny little sub-rights and privileges, in an increasingly byzantine array.
Each new 'right' breeds a new bureaucracy, somehow costs you more money, and cranks up the billable hours for some shark.
Life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, say I.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142316)

Yep the Spanish constitution is wrong. So too is the U.S. constitution when it discusses copy "rights".

These are not inalienable, instinctive, natural rights. They are temporary government-granted privileges of monopoly, typically at the expense of your neighbors who are footing the bill (either directly or indirectly).

Re:Not a "right"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142410)

The rights of the author are commonly accepted in many legal systems, and include the right of an author to control copying of his or her work, but also other rights, such as moral rights.

Honest people can debate whether or not various rights, such as the rights of the author, should or should not be accepted by society and protected by the state (I certainly think they should be). To simply claim, however, that such rights are nonexistent because they are not protected in a particular legal or intellectual tradition is absurd.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142528)

He wasn't saying the copyrights were wrong, we was saying that if "housing rights" are wrong, so are copyrights, because they are both similar non-natural rights. It was a reply to GGP.

Beach front (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141676)

Once someone codifies a "right to beach front property" I'm going to be moving there!

Re:Beach front (2, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141828)

In Soviet greenhouse planet, beach front property comes to you!

Re:Not a "right"! (4, Informative)

dingen (958134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141686)

If I had a "right" to electricity, nobody could legally shut it off.

I don't know about the situation in your country, but here in the Netherlands your water supply is not free, but you also cannot be cut off, because every citizen has the right to running water in their house. The same thing goes with gas during winter, because you cannot deny people the ability to warm their homes, even if they don't pay for it.

Education is another example. It's not only a right, it's even mandatory for children under 16, even though there is a fee to have your kid in a school.

Having the right to something doesn't mean you get it for free.

Re:Not a "right"! (3, Interesting)

Walzmyn (913748) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141858)

No it's not a right. It's a guarantee. "If you pay this contractor, we guarantee this contractor will provide this minimal service."

If it were a right, then you would have a right to these people (the contractors) work, that's called slavery.

It's the same thing with this so-called right to healthcare here in the states. You might have a right not to be denied service because of your skin color or country of birth but you do not have a "right" to the efforts of other individuals.

Re:Not a "right"! (2, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141976)

it's not slavery any more than my federal and state taxes make me a slave. stop being stupid.

Re:Not a "right"! (1, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142374)

Even if the taxes were raised to 100%? You're still not a slave? (Just something to think about.)

What about the concept of partial slavery? The typical American pays ~40% in total taxes. So in essence you're a slave the first ~40% of the year (upto May 10) and don't achieve total freedom from taxation until after.

Re:Not a "right"! (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142470)

I guess I should explain this better. Let's say you have a $100,000/year salary. The first ~$40,000 is not yours. It belongs to the government and while you are earning that first $40K you are a slave to Uncle Sam.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

Rocketship Underpant (804162) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142536)

There was a famous Danish author (I forget her name) who raised a protest once because she was taxed over 100% of her income that year.

There was also an Italian prime minister who once admitted that if the government collected all the taxes on the books, people would be paying 110% of their income.

When you're not allowed to work and earn income without someone else's permission (and giving them their cut, which may be the whole thing), it certainly is slavery.

Re:Not a "right"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142586)

Taxes have nothing to do with slavery. Taxes are simply the price of public services, which are often subject to market failures, in which case they cannot be priced correctly by market forces. In a democratic society, tax levels are decided by the public, through elected representatives. Even 100% taxation would not be slavery unless citizens were forbidden to renounce their citizenship and emigrate. It would be very inefficient in economic terms, but it would not be slavery.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142618)

Slavery is being forced to work. Nobody is forced to work - just that if you do, part of the condition is that you have to pay a tax, and can't claim any arbitrary amount of money that I like as a salary.

Re:Not a "right"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142622)

Looks like it's time to pony up this month's quota of troll food.

1) If you don't pay "your" taxes, you'll get a nice letter in the mail asking you to do so. If you do nothing about it, a nice man will visit your house, asking you to file and pay. If you continue to do nothing about it, men with guns will visit your house and insist. If you continue to do nothing about it, the men with guns will lock you in a cage. If you refuse to go, the men with guns will shoot you. If you survive, they will then lock you in a cage.

In short, if you don't pay "your" taxes, men with guns will shoot you and lock you in a cage. (See also: "extortion", "protection racket")

2) The American Revolution was sparked, in part, by taxes of 2-5%. During the debate around the original federal income tax, the proposed maximum rate of 5% was considered unconsionably high. Back in the "bad old days" of the Dark Ages, there was an iron-clad law: not even the cruelest, most tyrannical despot DARED to collect more than TEN PERCENT of their serfs' wealth.

Add up ALL of the various taxes that are forced upon you: income, property, sales, welfare/social security, gasoline. (Federal gasoline tax: look it up) If you are very lucky, it will only total half of your earnings. Cut what's left in half; government regulations increase the cost of just about everything, which is passed along to you, the consumer. So: before using any of it yourself, you need to hand over (at least) three-fourths of your income, and live off whatever's left, if anything.

You don't consider that slavery?

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142560)

"If you pay this contractor, we guarantee this contractor will provide this minimal service."

But he doesn't have to pay. And it's not called slavery, it's the conditions if you to agree if you want to provide that service, but no one forces you to enter that business. It's no more slavery than an EULA.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

SQL Error (16383) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141872)

Having the right to something doesn't mean you get it for free.

Yes it does.

If you have to pay for it, it's not a right, it's just a commodity.

Re:Not a "right"! (3, Insightful)

BeardsmoreA (951706) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141900)

All of this is nit picking over the definition of the word 'right'. It has more than one meaning! Generally, the precise meaning is determined by who we are saying is 'giving' the right - and in the case of 'basic human rights' we usually imply that either 'the natural order of things' or $DEITY 'gave' the rights. All rights do not have to be innate though - I can contractually give you a right of access across my land. In the case of TFA we are talking about a government / constitutionally granted right. Ok? Can we all stop arguing semantics now? Kthx.

Re:Not a "right"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142640)

You are right of course.

Re:Not a "right"! (3, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141992)

Wrong, actually. Just because you have a right to free speech does not mean your nanny state has to bus you wherever you want to go to vent your spleen, build you a platform, buy you a bullhorn, and dragoon a bunch of losers into listening to you stammer, ramble, and make an ass of yourself.

Or, what if your declaration of independence asserts that you have a right to life. That doesn't mean your nanny state has to give you an armored car so nobody shoots you, a chauffeur so you don't hit a tree while you're texting, and a bulletproof vest for when you are shopping or watching the opera. They don't have to stop traffic so nobody can collide with you. They don't have to clothe and feed you so you don't die of exposure or starve to death. They don't have to wipe your ass so flies don't gather and give you a disease. They don't have to watch you 24x7 and come and put you on life support every time you overdose on some self indulgence, let alone stop you doing it in the first place.

The right to broadband mentioned in the article says that no matter where you live, somebody has to OFFER to sell you broadband at a reasonable price. That's a DAMN sight more than you get in the U.S. on this subject.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142468)

I'm assuming you are from the US and writing from those experiences (if I'm mistaken, my apologies).

The right to free speech does incur financial burden. My home town had to pay to provide police protection for a KKK demonstration. As a small town, we had to pay other police departments to come in and protect them. We as a society bare the cost of all of us exercising free speech--you don't get to cherry pick.

We as a society have determined that clothing and feeding and shelter are fundamental rights which are our societal moral imperative. We also provide emergency healthcare in the event that someone does do something stupid, or God forbid, they have an accident. You may not wish to pay for others to not starve to death or help them out if insurance denied coverage and they had an accident, but thankfully we as a collective have decided that you aren't a decision maker.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142418)

I don't know about the situation in your country, but here in the Netherlands your water supply is not free, but you also cannot be cut off, because every citizen has the right to running water in their house. The same thing goes with gas during winter, because you cannot deny people the ability to warm their homes, even if they don't pay for it.

In theory perhaps. In practice the main reason for being cut off would be if you're behind on your bills, in which case the power/water company has to make a reasonable effort to come to a solution, such as a 6 or 12 month payment schedule to allow you to catch up on your bills, or getting in touch with a third party to manage your finances. If your inability to pay is chronic and you persist in not paying after said solution has been arranged, effectively violating its terms, you'll still be using rainwater to flush the toilet.

And yes, I work for the power/water company ;-)

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142758)

So are there any negative repercussions for people who refuse to pay for these things?

Re:Not a "right"! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141806)

You have the right to be free. Kill someone and you go to jail; you just lost your right.
You have the right to electricity. Don't pay and you get cut off; you just lost your right.
You have the right to 1mbit internet. Don't pay and you get cut off; you just lost your right.

Hell, in some places of the world, you can even lose your right to LIVE! The "justice" system kills you for severe crimes. So, it's a right and which you can lose like every other right if you abuse it. Free speech is a right and you can still get sued for what you say if you call them a liar without proof.

Re:Not a "right"! (2, Insightful)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141978)

If I had a "right" to electricity, nobody could legally shut it off.

A "right" doesn't imply at all that it can't be taken away under some circumstances (as a matter of fact, I've heard US has the biggest population of such people, at least among developed countries)

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142502)

Well that explains the existence of the China Firewall. The right of free speech & access to information is revocable "under some circumstances"

I on the other hand think a right is never revocable. You might as well be talking about revoking my right to have a penis. It makes no logical sense to say that an innate quality of the human body can be removed.

Re:Not a "right"! (4, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141982)

This is not a "right" to anything. These people need to look up the definition and history of what a "right" is.

It entirely depends on what sort of philosophy you happen to believe in. Religious people can claim that they have rights, and that they are derived from the existence of their god(s). Others have attempted to create systems of rights that are entirely objective, independent of any deity or supernatural forces. Debates on this have been raging for millenia between all sorts of greater and lesser philosophers. Immanuel Kant, for example, claimed to derive natural rights from reason alone. Legalistic individuals could also say our rights are exactly what the laws say they are.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142558)

Even legalistic individuals recognize that rights exist without law. This was the basis for the Nuremberg and Japanese War Crime trials - even though the Jews and Chinese had no legally-protected rights inside Germany, Japan, or the occupied territories, they still had the right to life simply by being human.

Rights are like instincts. They are innate

So how is copyright a right? (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142002)

If it were a "right", it would not cost anything.

So how is copyright a right then? If I want my "right" enforced, I have to join and pay an artists "interest" union, that I would never trust. Even worse, if I burn my own music (played with the band I am a member of) on my own CD, I have to pay that same union because I am supposed to be pirating my own music

That's blackmail, not a right

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142298)

This is not a "right" to anything. These people need to look up the definition and history of what a "right" is.

I hate to have to be the one to break this to you... wait, that's a lie. I love to tell people this: There is no such thing as an inherent human right. The government claims you have a right to life but reserves (for itself, no less) the right to kill you. That's hypocrisy of the highest order. In fact, if we REALLY believed in a right to life, we would make saving and extending lives our number one priority. Once you accept that there is really no inherent right to life, it's easy to see that there is really no right to do anything. Once you accept that, a "right" becomes something that you are nominally guaranteed access to.

People who talk about "rights" are selfish, self-entitled, and most importantly, clueless. It's okay though, lots of tards lead totally normal lives.

Re:Not a "right"! (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142704)

>>>People who talk about "rights" are selfish, self-entitled, and most importantly, clueless.

Spoken like a man who knows absolutely nothing about the last 2500 years of philosophy. YOU are the one who is "clueless" and don't seem to realize it. "Right to life" simply means "right not to be killed". It doesn't mean you have the right to rob your neighbors' wallets and buy yourself replacement organs to extend your life eternally. No man has a right to harm another.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

I_Voter (987579) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142404)

In Spain you have the right to "at least 1 Mbp/sec," in the U.S. we have the right to 'up to 1 Mbp/sec."

I_Voter
Citizen's Political Power in the U.S. [google.com]

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

enriquevagu (1026480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142534)

The headline is wrong. The news is not that "there is the right to have 1Mbps Internet access". Actually, the Universal Service in Spain is intended to provide the same services to all the citizens, independently of the location of their home. This means that, when it gets approbed, rural areas will receive at least 1 Mbps, no matter how far they are from the nearest service provider, and with the same cost as the largest cities. Current services covered by this "Universal service" are plain telephone access enabled for low-speed internet access, telephone guides and availability of public phones prepared for the disabled. More information can be found on Spanish in the Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

This service has a cost, which is paid by all the citizens. To this extent, there is a "Universal Service Fund", whose incomes are paid by all telecom customers. One company (Telefonica, the former monopolist) is forced to provide this "Universal service", despite not being profitable. The monetary cost comes from the fund.

Re:Not a "right"! (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142544)

Ah fuck. Now the people who insist on wrongly interpreting our Constitution have moved on to misunderstanding everyone else's.

So, good luck with that. If you yell at them enough you can tell those Spanish idiots what their constitution means. When you're done with that, maybe the Pope needs some help interpreting his holy books too.

Legality (1, Flamebait)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141558)

What is the legality of this bill? On 1st December 2009, the EU will have in law the hated Lisbon treaty, which gives the EU carte blanche to do what the hell it likes with laws in the former 27 EU countries, and is accountable to nobody.

The EU wish to have some sort of three strikes laws for "illegal" copyright downloaders and cut off "offenders", this conflicts with what the Spanish have just done.

So who is going to win Spanish law, or EU law?

Re:Legality (2, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141646)

If you break laws, your rights can be taken away. If you kill someone you will be put to prison, and clearly you lose some of your rights then. For example your EU given right to move, live and work freely within EU area might be a little hard to do from prison.

So if those three strikes law will ever get passed, this would probably be the same kind of thing. But EU still cannot force those laws in every country, they can only try to push them to be made laws.

Re:Legality (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141702)

As I understand it, rights can only be taken away by laws passed in either state or federal congress. The right that can be taken away after you've been convicted of a felony is the right to vote (and I think, but not sure) the right to run for public office. Even then there's a specific law about that. Even felons have the right to a jury by their peers, the right to a fair and impartial trial, the right to remain silent, etc. Committing a crime does not remove your rights, if anything it gives you more ability to exercise them.
 
This contrasts with the "right" to drive. You apply for, and then are given a drivers license on the condition that you follow the rules, pay your traffic tickets, etc. If not, your license can be revoked, but technically you don't have a "right" to drive, and it's not spelled out as such in any law.

Re:Legality (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142070)

The right that can be taken away after you've been convicted of a felony is the right to vote (and I think, but not sure) the right to run for public office.

I've never understood this about the US legal system, how can you take away a citizen's right to vote or run for office if he or she has been convicted of a crime? To me this seems very immoral, you are essentially removing one of the most fundamental rights a citizen has, the right to take part in the choosing of those who will be trusted to run the country, or to him-/herself volunteer to run the country(/town/state/county/whatever).

/Mikael

Re:Legality (2, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142402)

Well there are misdemeanors, like public intoxication, petty theft, evading arrest etc, and then there are felonies like murder, rape, arson, selling state secrets, etc. Two very different classes of crimes and the second class (felonies) demonstrate you don't desire to work within the system and actively work against the greater good - in essence denouncing their citizenship. Technically they're still american citizens, but they lose their ability to sway public offices with their vote.

it is possible to get them back sometimes (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142600)

People convicted here (varies by state, etc, just generally speaking now) can have all or most of their lost rights, including voting or holding office, restored, after completion of parole and if they petition for them and the appropriate judge or whatever grants them back and so on. There's no one size fits every situation though, some states automatic, others some hoop jumping, some others never allow it. Small writeup on wikipedia about this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_suppression#Ex-Felon_disenfranchisement [wikipedia.org]
One thing to always remember about the USA that I think is lost to a lot of people. It is thoeretically set up to be the united States, with that being the default, not the United states. We really do have at least in theory if not in practice 50 independent nations with a lot of different laws, in a federation.

    Now, this practice is in hot dispute all the time what with our federal government being on a mad power grab the last few decades, but in theory we have all these different "nations". States and nations were the same way back in term usage.

Me, I would prefer a LOT more "states" rights, as this would give the people here better choice on where they wanted to live, we'd have a lot more differences to help make that decision. The federal government has usurped so many things it really has no legal justification for that we are losing freedoms and rights all the time, IMO. For example, the federal government is only really supposed to regulate interstate commerce, NOT intra-state commerce, but they keep insisting they can just declare any commerce to be interstate, so they seize jurisdiction. It really sucks, too.

This whole scene is now being addressed, at least peacefully so far, by a lot of states re-declaring their sovereignty on what is legally theirs by our Constitution. This is known as the tenth amendment movement and is getting a lot of traction, several states legislatures have issued statements to that effect now, something like around 21 so far or pending.

http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/the-10th-amendment-movement/ [tenthamendmentcenter.com]

And technically, if enough states decide to do it, they can assemble completely outside the federal government and just dissolve the whole thing, then go it alone or whatever is decided at that point, a new alliance or alliances. And it just might get to that point if conditions keep worsening in the US. And I hope it does, IMO, the federal government is way too far gone in abuse of power and not being able to run the economy in the black, or stay out of wars, etc, to have any justification for existence at this point, it is unfixable as it stands. Bloat, corruption, "feature creep", it's a big fat mess. They can't even run their own little area -DC- effectively. If they stuck to what is really the role of the federal government it wouldn't be near as bad as it is today, but they don't, and have gone off the deep end into power grabbing.

Re:Legality (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141648)

What is the legality of this bill? On 1st December 2009, the EU will have in law the hated Lisbon treaty, which gives the EU carte blanche to do what the hell it likes with laws in the former 27 EU countries, and is accountable to nobody.

The EU wish to have some sort of three strikes laws for "illegal" copyright downloaders and cut off "offenders", this conflicts with what the Spanish have just done.

So who is going to win Spanish law, or EU law?

Depends how democratic the EU is.

For now the most e-democratic states are Finland and Spain, while France is going toward e-Fascism.

Re:Legality (3, Insightful)

ChowRiit (939581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141670)

Everything's hated by someone, and I'm fairly sure the Lisbon Treaty doesn't give the EU "carte blanche". I freely admit I know relatively little about the Lisbon Treaty, but I do know that unjustified hyperbole isn't going to help your argument.

Re:Legality (3, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141854)

The Lisbon Treaty is self amending. There does not need to be another vote for anything by the people. I think that qualifies as "carte blanche" for them to do what they like.

Re:Legality (1)

jbssm (961115) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141988)

And it's exactly how the government systems of all the Western world work practically everywhere (including USA). The government is not forced to make a referendum about a law (needing the vote from the people), they only have to do it if they want, otherwise, as long as the constituent assembly of the country chooses so by majority, the law passes. And sincerely this is the good way, you cannot be making referendums about everything, you choose the government and then should let them decide according to the big picture, otherwise it would be chaos.

Just imagine if you had to do a referendum about paying taxes ... which part do you think it would win in any country of the western world (perhaps with the sole exception of Northern Europe) ?

That is exactly what the Lisbon treaty will amend, from now on the EU can pass laws and not having them rectified in every single country of the EU in order for them to apply, and that's a good thing cause some countries (coff, coff, Poland, coff, coff), where abusing the system systematically and asking for monetary compensation every time they had to approve something, even when they where in agreement with it.

Re:Legality (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142794)

>>>And it's exactly how the government systems of all the Western world work practically everywhere (including USA). The government is not forced to make a referendum about a law (needing the vote from the people), they only have to do it if they want, otherwise, as long as the constituent assembly of the country chooses so by majority, the law passes.
>>>

Not correct. USA's Supreme Law says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The Congress can not just arbitrarily add new powers to itself. First it must propose an amendment, and then get permission from 3/4 of the States to add that amendment to the central Constitution.

I assume the Lisbon Treaty has a similar mechanism. The EU can not just arbitrarily grab power from Britain, France, Spain, et cetera. But I have not read the thing, so I don't know.

Re:Legality (-1, Troll)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141938)

This is the Union that gave us regulations on Banana Curvature, costing fruit growers millions in lost produce, and then 10 years later repealed the regulations, just as everyone had installed Banana Straightening Machines. (okay, I made the last bit up, but you get the picture).

The EU can and will do anything it sees fit, and if countries don't follow suite, they get their subsidies fucked with, or huge fines levied for non-compliance with EU Directives. Of course, recently they seem to have found a new cash cow levying billons of dollars in extortion money^W^Wfines against MS and Intel.

Re:Legality (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141748)

First, the Lisbon treaty is far from being hated. Most people are in fact pretty indifferent about it, and a sizeable percentage of the population (especially the more informed art) actually support it. Second, it doesn't give anyone a carte blanche to do anything, I'd suggest you actually read the treaty before making such wild (and completely ridiculous) statements.

Also, "the EU" doesn't want to do anything. Some members of the european commission have expressed sympathy for cutting off offenders, the european parliament is opposed to it. But that question has nothing to do with what the article speaks about, since everything that the spanish government does is to force the major telcos to offer a 1MB connection at a "reasonable" price everywhere in the country. If you can't or don't want to pay, you still get nothing. This wouldn't contradict any law to cut off offenders either. It's effectively the same as with a phone line, the major telcos are forced to offer you a phone line anywhere in the country, but if you don't pay your bill you can still be cut off.

Re:Legality (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141774)

The EU doesn't want to do that... And the EU doesn't have carte blanche ruling over the countries within. Follow your own sigs advice and do some research.

Re:Legality (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141784)

First and foremost, the EU is not a person, and certainly not the devilish one in your imagination.

Now, I don't know the details, but I seriously doubt anything in the Lisbon treaty (that EU countries' governments have signed) that allows the EU Parliament to arbitrarily dispose of existing laws.
And, the parliament is surely accountable to somebody: the people of the UE. That's enough for me.

Finally, you surely have many rights that can be suspended (temporally at least) if you become a law offender. I fail to see anything different in this case. So, to answer your final question: both.

Re:Legality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142324)

The EU will become a person by the Lisbon treaty. It is the reason it can also finally join the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and be sued by you for the relevant violations. The principle of subsidiarity, meaning your national parliament has more responsibility for local affairs and the EU parliament for the affairs of the Union, is increasingly emphasized in the Lisbon treaty, in effect, increasing parliamentarism of the EU decision making.

Re:Legality (3, Informative)

Hackie_Chan (678203) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141868)

While I strongly disagree with everything you claimed and find it to actually have no relevance to this discussion, let me point out that since 1963 [wikipedia.org] it has been virtually been agreed to that European Union law is supreme to member state law. Here's the verdict [europa.eu] :

By contrast with ordinary international treaties, the EEC Treaty has created its own legal system which, on the entry into force of the Treaty, became an integral part of the legal systems of the member states and which their courts are bound to apply.

By creating a community of unlimited duration, having its own institutions, its own personality, its own legal capacity and capacityof representation on the international plane and, more particularly, real powers stemming from a limitation of sovereignty or a transfer of powers from the states to the community, the Member States have limited their sovereign rights, albeit within limited fields, and have thus created a body of law which binds both their nationals and themselves ..

Re:Legality (2, Interesting)

PybusJ (30549) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141896)

The answer is Spanish Law will apply in Spain. But, if Spain fail to enact their own legislation to enforce EU regulation then the EU may take the Spanish Government to court (not Spanish citizens).

There are a number of such ongoing cases, including one against the UK government for failure to implement privacy laws (basically for failing to stop the use of Phorm by UK ISPs).

Same Reason that Telephone Service is Regulated (5, Insightful)

reporter (666905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141620)

What Madrid is doing is basically what is being done in super-free market, the United States of America. American phone companies are required by state regulators to provide low-cost land-line phone service to citizens whom state laws consider to be indigent. This government subsidy is necessary because the phone is necessary to live adequately in modern society. The phone connects you to emergency services via 911. The phone connects you to the manager (who works you like a slave). The phone connects you to your family. The phone is nearly as important as food, shelter, and clothing.

With the coming of age of the Internet, it will soon be as important as phone service. With the Internet, you can get legal information about registering your vehicle, and about smog-check stations, about filing a complaint with the relevant state agency. You can get information about universities. You can check whether your jury group is required to appear in court on a particular day.

10 years ago, the Internet was an exciting fad. Now, the Internet is an indispensable tool for living in modern society.

Of course, the best use of the Internet is to read articles on Slashdot.

Re:Same Reason that Telephone Service is Regulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141914)

Of course, the best use of the Internet remains pr0n.

FTFY

Re:Same Reason that Telephone Service is Regulated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142816)

This man above is poor brainwashed tool, easily identified because all young people under the nazi regime of the local government of Cataluña have been trained to use the words "Castillian" instead of "Spanish", and "Madrid" instead of "Spain".

What is Mbp/s? (1)

Fotograf (1515543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141636)

how many mililibraries of Congress per second is it?

Re:What is Mbp/s? (1)

mooglez (795643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141812)

1.1920929 × 10-9

Re:What is Mbp/s? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141846)

About 12 parsecs, I think.

A serious question (3, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141750)

Last year, Spain granted human rights to apes:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/14/opinion/14mon4.html [nytimes.com]

Does this mean apes also have the right to broadband? And please, no jokes about Nigerian scammers.

Re:A serious question (5, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141796)

legal rights != human rights

Pretty big difference. In most countries there are cruelty to animals laws. This could be easily rewritten as an animal charter of rights to not have to go through torture. Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:A serious question (1)

FreakyGreenLeaky (1536953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142018)

And please, no jokes about Nigerian scammers.

Why not?

The right to broadband. (1, Offtopic)

rr00 (1549037) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141772)

This is progressive thought.

We do have a right to high cycle/bandwidth connectivity. Baby steps like Facebook will prove to be beneficial to us all. Most of us on slashdot are operators to a longer-term human condition.

Things here will trend to this end. This is how it will be. And in many years, we will all be connected in ways that you can not imagine today.

Eventually human consciousness will coalesce with computing technology. (which would have likely evolved without our involvement.) Only then will we see that the universe that think we exist in today is nothing but a forgotten abstraction to the process that created us.

If you disagree then you do not understand what I am saying.

You are reading this as a being in a nearly infinitesimally portion of the complex fabric of reality. You hardly exist - but you are connected to the whole. We are all of the same.

When you see your shadow on the sidewalk as you're walking on an urban street to get some stimulant at Starbucks, know that even the process of projecting your shadow is far more remote and more incomprehensible than anyone will ever comprehend.

(the reason WHY you're walking to starbucks at that moment exists on another dimension.)

Good for Spain and Finland for their "rights of broadband." Of course, the politico-leaders did this in some perceived self-interest, but the truth is: the did it because it was meant to be --

and it was all related to your shadow on the sidewalk, but it wasn't really.

That's how it is.

Re:The right to broadband. (0, Offtopic)

bencollier (1156337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141824)

Also, did you realise that TIME is CUBIC in NATURE?

Re:The right to broadband. (2, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141844)

Seriously, what a pile of Bee Ess. I always lol at these posts aspiring to some sort of utopian ultra-connected future. Seriously, this interweb thing is just a network that sends bits around the place (Now with added censorship!), not a freaking replacement for real life even though some people see it as such.

Re:The right to broadband. (2, Insightful)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#30141972)

Have you actually seen a group of teens in Starbucks these days. They don't talk to each other anymore, they Twitter the person across the table via their mobile.

Jesus, I can't even have a conversation with my wife without getting "put on hold with the hand" while she answers that "oh-so-important" text message ... and she's old enough to know better !

We might still be living in the real world, but we communicate in cyberspace.

I'd say that reality is getting closer to the GP's view than you appreciate.

Re:The right to broadband. (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142452)

Seriously, what a pile of Bee Ess. I always lol at these posts aspiring to some sort of utopian ultra-connected future. Seriously, this interweb thing is just a network that sends bits around the place (Now with added censorship!), not a freaking replacement for real life even though some people see it as such.

In a lot of western Europe, the internet is an almost indispensable tool for finding employment, housing and other pretty damn important things. There's other channels to get to this information, they're just not anywhere near as efficient. Hence making access to those facilities a logical next step.

Sometimes in order to get a technological breakthrough rolling you have to solve the chicken and egg problem. The Spanish government just pretty much guarantueed businesses that every spanish household has access to an affordable chicken.

Re:The right to broadband. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30142754)

Sorry, but since when is the internet a replacement for anything? It is a part of real life, most likely for better, abused for worse. The utopia comes when someone or somemany stand up and create it...

Yeah, a right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141878)

...and in spanish constitution there is also a thing that says "all spanish have right to a decent home", but prices of flats and houses are a joke, and lot of people live in the street.

This will be the same, more empty words.

Re:Yeah, a right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30141974)

...and in spanish constitution there is also a thing that says "all spanish have right to a decent home", but prices of flats and houses are a joke, and lot of people live in the street.

Nobody expects the Spanish Constitution!

Re:Yeah, a right... (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142008)

Your grasp of State sincerity and effectiveness is excellent.

So, who lost in this deal? (-1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142178)

Well, let's see. I guess we should read the fine print: anyone that works for, owns stock in, or sells to a telco has less rights than someone who is entitled to free broadband.

Way to go Spain. Let me know when there's a point to someone actually working for a telco. Make getting enough stuff for free a right, you'll have a hard time finding someone actually willing to do it.

/facepalm (1, Interesting)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142328)

Really? People see Broadband as a right? Really? It makes me wonder, why not make driving a car a right? That technology and privilege has been around for nearly a century. I'll tell you why, because it is only a privilege. Why should broadband become a right? What happens when Technology surpasses what it is today and it's no longer termed broadband, will they modify the law or create a new one? And isn't this just a law against companies?

Really? /sigh

Re:/facepalm (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142478)

I'll tell you why, because it is only a privilege.

Privilege. Literally means "private law". An exception for the wealthy and powerful.

And what the spanish are saying is that it is not a privilege, it is a right. It is accessible to anyone who wants it.

And how is it against companies to say "my entire country has at least such and so broadband speed. come hook up your online services guys, market's guarantueed."?

Availability matters (2, Informative)

lurker412 (706164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30142446)

This is hardly a matter of human rights, but it is a significant step forward for many Spaniards who live in rural areas where the only current broadband option is very expensive (and not very reliable) satellite service. Although the article doesn't mention it, it will likely mean that faster service will also be available in those areas. Telefonica's basic DSL service in Madrid these days is 6Mbs.
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