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Internet For All in Europe

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the what-about-here dept.

186

evileyetmc writes "It seems that the EU has taken the next big step in promoting the concept of Internet for All, by attempting to 'ensure that the most Web-disadvantaged groups can get online.'" From the article: "The EC has now pledged to increase broadband coverage across the continent to 90 percent by 2010. Rural areas are still underserved, according to the Commission, with about 60 percent penetration. Urban areas fare better and are already at the 90 percent mark. The EC has also committed to putting new measures in place to halve exclusion rates in skills and digital literacy by 2010. "

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186 comments

mis-titled (1, Funny)

zxnos (813588) | more than 7 years ago | (#15541992)

should read 'prOn for all in europe'

Re:mis-titled (1)

LoonyMike (917095) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542354)

Obviously.
The priority now is the rural areas, the penetration there is only 60%. And if you exclude the animals, I bet it is much lower than that.

excellent idea (1)

roguegramma (982660) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542362)

Blind men DO have these touchpatch that vubrate up and down.
Might actaully be more interesting, if you ctach my drift .. /dc

I wonder how history will judge us (4, Insightful)

oni (41625) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542042)

It will be interesting to look back in a few decades and see how different the US and Europe will be because of their different approaches to the Internet. in the US, the Internet will be a place for businesses that can pay the carrier cartels. In Europe, the Internet will be a place (more like what we in the US have today) where ideas are exchanged freely.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (1, Troll)

Chicken04GTO (957041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542078)

more Euro > US bullshit. It really does get old.
People in the US will never stop exchanging ideas over the internet.

As long as U.S. citizens can afford it (0, Redundant)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542194)

Yea. In 10 years in U.S. the people to exchange ideas will be the ones who are able to pay for it.

Which will probably mean the big corporations, their owners, or their top management and lobbyists.

Re:As long as U.S. citizens can afford it (3, Insightful)

Chicken04GTO (957041) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542312)

I'm confused how to came to the conclusion that only big business will be able to afford to access the internet. Please enlighten me. Your drawing huge conclusions based upon a few carriers like AT&T and whomever crying about not making enough money to OMGZERS only Bill Gates can afford to chat or post online anymore.

Re:As long as U.S. citizens can afford it (2, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542395)

Besides, pretty much everybody in the US can already use the Internet for free. We have these things called public libraries. Most people live within walking distance of one, and most of them have computers available with Internet access, as well as a WiFi hub for anybody with a laptop and a card.

On top of that, a lot of places leave wide-open WiFi in every major city all over the world. I've found WEP-free connections in both Ely, Minnesota and Tokyo, Japan.

All this "Internet Disadvantaged" crap is nonsense.

Re:As long as U.S. citizens can afford it (2, Insightful)

Gyga (873992) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542658)

Thing is, in the rural areas (places that don't have DSL in many places) libraries are far from walking distance. If I want to go to a public library I have to drive several miles down a busy highway. School libraries are closed to the public. And once I get to the library I have to share one of two computers with everyone else. Also there is no wifi where I live.

Re:As long as U.S. citizens can afford it (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542892)

Well, if you live out where your nearest neighbor is a half-mile away, nothing is within easy walking distance... But that's the trade-off for living out in the country.

You get away from it all, but you're away from it all.

Damn socialists and their public libraries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542710)

We should let the free market handle libraries. Free libraries for everyone is socialism.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542457)

exchanging them for money....

Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment. It's been 11 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment <--WTF?

FUCK YOU, YOU EUROFAG LOVING FAG. GO WATCH SOCCER (0, Troll)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542126)

And pretend how interested you are in it. Maybe you can get some ugly german woman to shit in your mouth.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (1)

Chysn (898420) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542166)

But TFA didn't say that they were going to require FREE broadband access; counties are commiting to creating or enhancing the infrastructure to support broadband. In the US, penetration is an issue, but lack of competition is an increasingly large complaint. I don't see how the EU's system is going to avoid that very same problem. It might even be worse in places where there's only one provider: instead of being inexpensive, the price of broadband may be off the charts for rural residents.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (5, Insightful)

G Morgan (979144) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542331)

What do you mean by competitors. Britain (and most of Europe AFAIK) have a state sanctioned broadband setup that all the ISP's compete across. I'm with a company called Plusnet but there are a whole host of ISP's ready to take my custom should Plusnet annoy me too much and I'm in the darkest depths of the Welsh Valleys so I'm not near any large population center.

I don't think competition is an issue and as time is moving on broadband is getting much cheaper, much faster, more reliable and with greater penetration. I suppose it just goes to show the value of a mixed economy over a pure free market. Nobody is in danger of taking our internet bar the American companies since all net usage still requires the US for things like DNS (that will obviously start to change the day US telcos break net neutrality, the EU will get Galileo/GPS about it likely).

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542509)

I suppose it just goes to show the value of a mixed economy over a pure free market.

Just how the heck do you figure that?

Neither place is anything like a free market, so you're comparing one mixed economy with another and somehow this comparison leads you to believe they're both better than a free market, which isn't part of your comparison?

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (3, Interesting)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542357)

But TFA didn't say that they were going to require FREE broadband access;

GP's point was about the Net Neutrality thing issue, not about the cost of broadband.

I don't see how the EU's system is going to avoid that very same problem.

States subsidies the pipes, then forbits anyone to hog them for himself. In france, it was done via deblocking for example, the historical operator (France Telecom) who owned all the pipes was forced by law to let concurrents access these pipes directly up to the very consumer's house (that's total deblocking, partial deblocking means that the alernative operators get direct access to the DSLAMs and the local loop is still the historical operator's turf).

Granted the price of broadband may stay high, but if what happened in france is any indication it won't.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (2, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542199)

in the US, the Internet will be a place for businesses that can pay the carrier cartels. In Europe, the Internet will be a place (more like what we in the US have today) where ideas are exchanged freely.

The U.S. will resemble Manhattan. The EU will resemble Woodstock. As I live midway between these two places and frequent them both, I can tell you that each are interesting -- nay, captivating -- in their own way. Neither place is "better;" each has its fanatical supporters and detractors. I fall in love with, and am infuriated by, both on a regular basis.

The questions "Where Would You Prefer to Live?" and "Where Would You Prefer to Work?," as relates to these two cultural paradigms, are the fundamental queries here.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (2, Insightful)

arodland (127775) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542498)

The U.S. will resemble Manhattan. The EU will resemble Woodstock.

Woodstock 1999, you mean?

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (2, Informative)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542264)

in the US, the Internet will be a place for businesses that can pay the carrier cartels. In Europe, the Internet will be a place (more like what we in the US have today) where ideas are exchanged freely.

Don't hold your breath on this one. I think the more likely scenario is that in the US, you will have really fast service for a small fee and in parts of Europe, you'll have a slow connection provided by the government that has problems and is perpetually in great need of an upgrade. The truth is that the cost of providing internet service has dramatically decreased over time and will continue to do so. I've seen articles about the cost of providing wireless internet connections to a city. It's actually cheaper to provide wifi internet accross a city than it is to run a local ad sponsored newspaper. Ad sponsored wifi will be pervasive soon and no one will even consider using a slow goverment connection. Why waste the money?

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (0, Redundant)

MisterBuggie (924728) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542774)

Erm, I have to disagree here. Right now there are quite a few countries in Europe that have a good coverage and very good speed for pretty low prices. In the US, well, you have to be lucky enough to live in a place that the telco companies consider important enough to deliver a semi decent service, and you usually have to pay a fortune anyway. And no, NYC does not count as the entire USA...

France is usually the first country cited by Americans when talking about anything govt controlled in Europe. Yet France, for such a rural country has an extremely good coverage. By the end of the year, 98% of the population should have access to adsl. France Telecom offers aren't exactly expensive either. Triple play starts at 30 euros (1Mbps/VoIP with unlimited calls/IPTV) or you can get, for example, 40 euros for 18Mbps + IPTV. That is the govt owned internet company. And if it has one advantage over other ISPs, it's reliability. The main reason people choose to go with France Telecom is because they'd rather pay a bit more and be sure it works. I personally have a different ISP, it's cheaper and there are more services, but it's also more of a risk...

So I'm sorry, but govt owned ISPs are just fine, however a little competition from the private market does make it even better.

Oh, and if you still think France Telecom's 18Mbps is slow, rest assured, France Telecom is currently planning on laying down FTTH.

So sure, the only example I can give is France, but it certainly is a damned good example, especially when we see the Americans, who a few years back were ahead of the rest with their cable connections, now currently debating over what possible use people could make of 5Mbps... (oh wow how fast...). I mean your market hasn't really changed much in years...

And one last thing, you compare govt connections and wifi in a city... Erm, the whole thing is about bringing broadband to rural areas, where wifi won't be an option... In cities, there is already a lot of competition...

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (1)

jedrek (79264) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542914)

I think the more likely scenario is that in the US, you will have really fast service for a small fee and in parts of Europe, you'll have a slow connection provided by the government that has problems and is perpetually in great need of an upgrade.

Yeah, because this is what's happening now... oh wait, it's not.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (0, Flamebait)

moracity (925736) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542275)

Are you that ignorant? "Internet For All" is just code-name for another tax Europeans will have to pay for yet another substandard service provided by the government.

Europeans will be judged as a bunch of suckers that professed freedom while simultaneously giving that freedom away, tax by tax.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542391)

Are you that ignorant? "Internet For All" is just code-name for another tax Europeans will have to pay for yet another substandard service provided by the government.

That, or govt-subsidized laying of the pipes and then unrestricted access to these pipes to competitive private entities for a fee.

That's what happened in france where the govt-sponsored historical operator was required by law to let competitors access the consumers directly (partial & full deblocking)... (and france is not known for it's "free market will sort itself" view of economy)

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (3, Insightful)

sploxx (622853) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542283)

In Europe, the Internet will be a place (more like what we in the US have today) where ideas are exchanged freely.

Haha. Two words: data retention

One of these idiotic, invasive things which got first thought out here in good old europe and then exported to the US (we have to 'catch up with the rest of the world' or what are they always telling you?)

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542436)

in the US, the Internet will be a place for businesses that can pay the carrier cartels. In Europe, the Internet will be a place (more like what we in the US have today) where ideas are exchanged freely.

What you ignore is that big business cannot survive on the internet without average folk and small businesses. The corps are not completely self-sufficient. They buy/sell products and services from/to small businesses and individual consumers and increasingly look to do such transactions over the net to cut down on costs.
If the pipline cartels exclude the little guy, they exclude a significant portion of corporate business. We are more likely to see systems that are priced on how the access is used, rather than just bandwidth. That will in fact be more efficient in terms of passing cost to the end user (eg the guy constantly downloading videos will be paying more than the mom checking recipes and email).

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (2, Insightful)

Heembo (916647) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542458)

> where ideas are exchanged freely. What kind of world do you live in? Internet traffic is: (1) tracked and recorded and/or manipulated in some way by almost every government (2) mostly plain-text communication from the moment it leaves your home So if you meant to say, "Where ideas are exchanged via plaintext for all to see, tracked and recorded by most governments (by ip) for later analysis" I'm with you, bro!

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542475)

In Europe, the Internet will be a place (more like what we in the US have today) where ideas are exchanged freely.

Sheesh, what are you talking about? Are you talking about the same United States that guarantees free speech in the constitution (which is NOT typically guranteed in Europe) and has protected us many times from an overzealous government? And are you talking about the same Europe with France that tried to ban certain Yahoo auctions? And are you talking about the same Europe that put a man in jail for thinking the wrong thoughts [rferl.org]?

History favors the stability of the United States. It wasn't THAT long ago that Europe dragged the world into a WW/II.

Mindless anti-Americanism really gets old somtimes.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (3, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542708)

Sheesh, what are you talking about? Are you talking about the same United States that guarantees free speech in the constitution (which is NOT typically guranteed in Europe) and has protected us many times from an overzealous government?

No, I'm talking about the United States that guarantees "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." But yet the Supreme Court determined that it isn't an "unreasonable search" for the government to break down your door, rummage through your house, take what they want, and not bother to identify themeselves or why they are there. And it's the same United States that redefined "warrants" to include warrants after the fact. Even with the rights explicitly guaranteed in the Constitution, the government still takes them away. That's the United States I'm posting from. Where is your Unites States? I would like to visit there some day.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542885)

against unreasonable searches and seizures

There's that pesky word "unreasonable" again.

But yet the Supreme Court determined that it isn't an "unreasonable search" for the government to break down your door, rummage through your house, take what they want, and not bother to identify themeselves or why they are there.

And why should they? If they have a warrant (*see below), then I have no problem with the authorities doing the above in order to enforce law, order and justice. If it's later in the process that you learn why they're there, what difference does it make?

And it's the same United States that redefined "warrants" to include warrants after the fact.

Again, who cares? I have no problem with that as long as, 1) there are appropriate punishments when a warrant is NOT issued, and 2) it's done rarely and with probable cause. Sometimes when life is imminently threatened, the police need some slack. It doesn't mean we give them carte blanche, but I do believe in flexibility.

One of the reasons that the police have become so insulated from society is exactly BECAUSE of the inflexibility of "the rules". Any little mistake, and the criminal is back on the streets. I personally believe that mistakes in evidence gathering should not taint the evidence, but that it should cause sanctions against the officer and the department. The criminal still goes to jail, and the police take responsibility. But that's a bit off the subject.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (2, Informative)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542904)

United States that guarantees free speech in the constitution (which is NOT typically guranteed in Europe)

You are wrong there, I think. To quote from the Danish constitution (chapter VIII, if you care)

77. Enhver er berettiget til på tryk, i skrift og tale at offentliggøre sine tanker, dog under ansvar for domstolene. Censur og andre forebyggende forholdsregler kan ingensinde påny indføres.

Translated (by me, tired)It is every citizens right to publish his thoughts in written or oral form, though being responsible to the judges. Censorship or other preventive measures can never again be instigated.

Just as sort of a public service :)

neither, with our publish restrictions(copyright) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542653)

Since in the US and in the world have went from 14 year publishing monopoly to todays 120 year publishing monopoly, the free exchange of ideas not yet in reach. We need another freedom revolution to limit these monopolies (again).

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (1)

Monster_Juice (939126) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542756)

in the US, the Internet will be a place for businesses that can pay the carrier cartels. In Europe, the Internet will be a place (more like what we in the US have today) where ideas are exchanged freely.

It seems that most people think exchanging ideas freely involves having a free internet connection. The freedom of speech in the US does not also mean you should get a free car to drive around in to tell people your ideas.

Nothing is free in life. The internet will be free for some and the others will pay for it either by way of higher prices for their service or by way of taxes. You can apply this to either the US or Europe. If you want to compare something in a few decades compare how the internet in the US before mafia takeover worked compares to the new socialist broadband of Europe.

Personally I don't want anyone giving me free access. When someone gives you something they tend to think they also have the right to tell you how to use it.

Re:I wonder how history will judge us (1)

takeya (825259) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542762)

In the US we will be seen as having free market capitalism where businesses can compete with little restriction to get customers, by setting lower prices, offering more perks, or selling premium quality internet, similar to what we have today.

Europe will be seen as a socialists wasteland, where most people, except the ultrarich, settled for free government subsidized internet, while spouting about their taxes being too high.

That's all I can guess. Pampered welfare babies don't have any "right" to post political banter online for free. They have a right to look for work, to get money and actually DO something in exchange for internet service, a costly service to provide.

Undesirables (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542064)

As long as the sand-niggers can't get on, it'll be fine.

eire (2, Informative)

wwmedia (950346) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542080)

[rant]
Here in ireland we constantly being promised internet for everyone and we are always get screwed over,
maybe with pressure from Europe, Eircom will pull their head out of their behind (they dont listen to the governement much anyways)

hell im on wireless "broadband" (Irish Broadband) now in Dublin city center and i can barely get above 30K (yes thats almost twice slower than dial up! when were meant to het up to 512K)

soo much for Knowledge Economy!
[/end rant]

Re:eire (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542208)

I would have to agree, im on 3mbit, with a 30GB cap, and i pay 50 a month, that in usd is +27% ontop. They also charge you, or reserve the right to charge 30 a gigabyte used above 30GB, last time i checked a datacenter charges you 13c USD oer the quota.

Ireland and Britian are not seeing "The benifits" of this economic ability to give 3rd worlds broadband, when their own front door doesnt have the same simple privlages, who ARE able to afford to pay for broadband.

This could be arguged that we have massive monopolistic ISP's such as Eircom and British Telecom who refuse to make life easier.

I myself, was only able to even apply for broadband 9 weeks ago, and I certainly do not live in the middle of nowhere. To give you an example of how bad it is, I have yet to recieve an ADSL modem from the ISP i signed up to, im only on the internet cause I have my own hardware.

So im sorry for saying that "3rd worlds shouldnt have broadband" but I think they should honstly start in the most important place, at HOME.

Its great that they are doing these places it goes to show its possible to put an internet signal where theres no electrical socket to run a computer...

Pierce

Re:eire (1)

G Morgan (979144) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542366)

Broadband usage is about 55% in the UK with availability around the 97% mark. BT dragged its heels early on and had an horifically spotty service during the early years but have really turned it around. Average available speeds is 4MB (which I'm on personally) with the used average being 1MB, BT are beginning to roll out their 24MB service in the cities. So the UK is by no means the poor relation in terms of broadband that it used to be. Prices are reasonable as well I pay £14 a month for my 4MB connection with a 50GB limit.

I suggest you research the US situation.. (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542311)

at least you wont get blocked from sites because they don't bribe the isp's like us US citizens.

I'll take 30k max over a non neutral net.

Re:eire (2, Informative)

donutface (847957) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542323)

Stop complaining, you live in the centre of Dublin, just go ahead and get ADSL, its only 30 euros a month. Have a look at some other countries who actually talk about how cheap Europe is for internet such as South Africa. In South Africa, with ADSL they cap their users at 3gb per month. If you want to download 100gb, its cheaper to fly to Hong Kong, and download it there, burn it to DVD's and bring it back home (Actual statistics, www.hellkom.co.za). You complain about monopolies, but you honestly dont know how good you have it, I thoroughly enjoy my ADSL in Cork, if your ISP sucks so much, pick up the bloody phone and change ISP.

Re:eire (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542334)

30KB/s or 30kbps?

Either way, that makes mine seem good in comparison (used to be £60/mo for 512kbps).

Re:eire (1)

MentalMooMan (785571) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542416)

i can barely get above 30K [snip] when were meant to het up to 512K
Are you sure you're meant to get up to 512K? An upper-case K signifies KiloBytes, and a lower-case k means KiloBits. 512 KBytes would be a whopping (for the british isles) 4 megabits/s.
Now, 512 Kbits/s is still 64 KBytes/s, so you aren't getting the "full 512k".
Dial-up is (normally) 56 Kbits/s, which is a meagre 7 KBytes/s.

I've found that kilobits are normally used when talking about networking, as opposed to kilobytes when talking about storage.

Re:eire (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542486)

Ha, you are not alone

Since I moved to Liverpool, I have not been able to get broadband because the providers do not have "coverage" in my area

And the incredible thing is that I am at 5 blocks from the city centre and 4 blocks from the "University Of Liverpool". The only way I can get broadband is getting a telephone line, but screw it, I do not call anyone (I am not Briton) here, and I only need Skype and VoIpbuster for my long distance needs. Therefore, I refuse to give away 10 pounds a month PLUS the internet fee (which would be a different provider than BT as from what I have read they are really expensive and bad).

If government is talking about "internet for all" then wake me up when I can get into the net by connecting to a Wifi network from my home IN THE MIDDLE OF A MAJOR CITY, meanwhile, continue with the buzzwords

Ireland is crap... (1)

all my nicks are tak (929753) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542541)

...for web access definitly, hopefully it'll improve. Here in Finland things are pretty good. I've had broadband access here for a number of years and in this city there are a number of free wireless networks which I can connect to. Some pubs even give free wireless access to customers. Ireland is years behind places like Finland, or Germany for example.

That's because broadband isn't easy (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542670)

Or cheap. The problem is that too many people, politicians and techies alike, see the speeds you can get over a small area for cheap and think it just scales up. You can buy an 8 port gigabit switch for $70USD, so what's the problem? Well it turns out that the larger scale things go to, the more expensive it gets. That $70 switch is fine for 8 ports on a LAN, but you cannot chain 100 of them together to get an 800 port switch for just $7000. Turns out for something like that you are talking maybe a $7,000,000 switch (or more).

Thus what I see plans for all too often is to create essentially a big LAN or WAN if you like. Something that has a lotf of bandwidth available to the end users, but not the backbone or uplinks to support it. The end result is that users have a 'fast' connection that works slow.

Even if the internal infastructure is there, you still need fast uplinks to other networks. I've seen a few broadband providers, the Scandanivan BBB comes to mind, that function kind of like a university campus. They seem to have adiquate internal bnadwidth, they get fast speeds to each other, but they get slow transfers to servers I run that are on extremely fast and well connected networks. They have all the WAN parts working, but lack the uplinks to other networks to get that full bandwidth to anywhere.

That's what I'd worry about happening with a government funded ISP. They are of course always going to be under pressure to keep costs low, since nobody likes paying more taxes and that will probably result in severe oversubscription. I mean you can, technicly, pack 10-20 dialup users over a single 64k frame relay. It will work, but if more than 2 or 3 users are download files it'll get pretty slow and bogged down. I worry that you'll see a lot of that, but on a faster scale. Users will be given "10MB" or whatever broadband for free, but unless it's 3am you won't see but a fraction of it because there will be an inadiquate backend and/or uplink to handle the traffic.

The question is, what KIND of internet? (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542082)

"Internet for all" is a bold statement. I just doubt our politicians have a clue what they're talking about here.

What is "tha intarweb" anyway? What do they mean? That everyone should have the means (i.e. connection speed, host space etc) to actually set up a server themselves?

Oh. It's just "access to the internet". Shouldn't be that hard, a dumb terminal with telnet will do.

Oh, you mean more than that? Can you be a little bit MORE precise what is meant with "access to the internet"?

My very personal and biased guess is "enough access that even the dumbest person can order crap online".

Re:The question is, what KIND of internet? (2, Interesting)

BobVH (930696) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542348)

In Belgium, this basically comes down to a "cheap" computer (think dell-like with flat screens) with windows xp on, and I believe a one year subscription to broadband internet with some anti-virus plan.

I wish they had thought this over better because a simple computer with ubuntu on it would be much better in terms of userfriendlyness and security. Now they know that in a few months these computers will be filled with spyware because granny didn't buy a firewall.

Further more, these will miss the point completely I think, these computers will be bought by people who need an extra computer for the kids or so. These will not close the gap between poor and rich.

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on any of the points above.

Re:The question is, what KIND of internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542421)

My own personal and biased guess is that more digital infrastructure means easier implementation of Big-Brother.

W3C (4, Informative)

bsdluvr (932942) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542107)

From TFA: According to recent research, 81 percent of Web sites in the United Kingdom are inaccessible to disabled people, while a separate report found that only 3 percent of European public-sector Web sites met W3C accessibility guidelines.

Good to see they are caring about accessibility and compatibility, because those two are often overlooked when talking about internet coverage. They are actually talking about 90% of the population, and not just 90% geographical coverage.

Re:W3C (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542385)

By 90% of the population, they likely mean far less than 90% geographical coverage. People aren't uniformly distributed geographically.

Re:W3C (1)

revery (456516) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542480)

If I'm not mistaken, 90% broadband coverage based on geography would almost always translate to a higher percentage of people than 90% of the population.

but no IE for them! (1)

madnuke (948229) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542125)

Go to love Windows XP Home N edition which no one actualy uses, I wonder if they will favour open source in this choice as Microsoft will hardly back them now after the court skirmishes.

Aritcle Text for the lazy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542140)

Web accessibility soon mandatory in Europe?
By Jo Best
Special to CNET News.com

Published: June 15, 2006, 7:17 AM PDT
TalkBack E-mail Print
The 25 European Commission member states and nine accession countries have all signed up for a plan that could make accessibility in e-procurement mandatory.

The 34 countries all signed an agreement in Riga, Latvia, on Wednesday, committing themselves to the "Internet for all" action plan, designed to ensure that the most Web-disadvantaged groups can get online.

The EC has now pledged to increase broadband coverage across the continent to 90 percent by 2010. Rural areas are still underserved, according to the Commission, with about 60 percent penetration. Urban areas fare better and are already at the 90 percent mark.

The EC has also committed to putting new measures in place to halve exclusion rates in skills and digital literacy by 2010. One of these initiatives includes forcing Internet trolls to make their shock-sites accessible to the disabled. Fortunately, many such sites, including the GNAA's LastMeasure site, already are partially accessible because of their use of both visual and audio features.

According to recent research, 81 percent of Web sites in the United Kingdom are inaccessible to disabled people, while a separate report found that only 3 percent of European public-sector Web sites met W3C accessibility guidelines.

A representative of the Society of Information Technology Management (Socitm) said the United Kingdom has being doing its bit for accessibility.

"Local authorities are doing better than the private sector by far," the representative told Silicon.com. "It's something that sector is aware of and (is) taking action on, but it is a challenging issue."

Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.

EUROPE SUCKS!!!!!!!!! (0, Flamebait)

bazmail (764941) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542147)

BOOO YOOROP YAYYYY THE USA

Those french always surrender etc..........

Just getting it in there before our fat uneducated american cousins do.

Internet shouldn't be for all (0, Flamebait)

Zweideutig (900045) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542205)

The Internet already is available to too many. It has become so affordable (sometimes even free to the end user) that we end up with the poor having the same access as other more financially responsible members of society. The problem is that Internet access gives users the ability to broadcast their ideas, literary works, etc. with minimum investment via personal web servers, blog sites, "free" hosts, etc. If "publishing" content became significantly more expensive, the ratio of commercial content to personally-created content would by higher. This is a good thing for everyone.

Re:Internet shouldn't be for all (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542292)

poor == financially irresponsible? /me kicks zweeedelhimer's (whatever) ass

sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542491)

I'm sorry... I didn't see your tongue in your cheek at first read.

Now I know better.

Re:Internet shouldn't be for all (3, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542320)

The Internet already is available to too many. It has become so affordable (sometimes even free to the end user) that we end up with the poor having the same access as other more financially responsible members of society.

Yeah, that's what I want to read: Just the literature produced by financially responsible members of society. How did you know? We must be soulmates.

Ideally, we could find a way to take the pencils and wordprocessors away from anyone who doesn't shower daily, too. Our campaign motto could be, "Clean, Fiscally Responsible Stories for Clean, Fiscally, Responsible People!"

Can you imagine the literary heights to which our well-to-do society could soar?! Wow.

And for an encore, we could go around to all the hotels nationwide and replace the Gideon Bibles with the latest issue of Golf Digest...

Re:Internet shouldn't be for all (1)

Frightening (976489) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542620)

I think he was being sarcastic. Otherwise you are right and he should be shot in the balls.

Re:Internet shouldn't be for all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542863)

And for an encore, we could go around to all the hotels nationwide and replace the Gideon Bibles with the latest issue of Golf Digest...

Ha, fuck Greenpeace, this is the charity I donate to now!

Re:Internet shouldn't be for all (2, Funny)

bombadier_beetle (871107) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542368)

I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death my right to be entertained by the outrage over it.

Re:Internet shouldn't be for all (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542600)

Don't worry, the tiered internet will make sure that you never read anything that's not sponsored anyway, because it takes too long to load.

DL (2, Insightful)

Wellington Grey (942717) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542214)

The EC has also committed to putting new measures in place to halve exclusion rates in skills and digital literacy by 2010.

The only people I ever hear use words like 'digital literacy' are the people most clueless about computers.

-Grey [wellingtongrey.net]

Re:DL (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542645)

Actually, they just want to be able to read what their kids are saying on AIM... to the "digitally illiterate" the phrase "omg we shud lik go 2 teh mol n bi stuf wit r rents $ thet ew rnt alowd waer wen wer hom" is complete gibberish. What they fail to realize is that the problem isn't their ability to read, it's their children's inability to not write like they were born feet first.

Somewhere in France... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542226)

All your Internet are belong to us!

This is probably a step in a wider plan.... (4, Interesting)

Marsmensch (870400) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542286)

Several european countries (with the scandinavians pretty far in the lead) are moving as many government services as possible online in order to save on paperwork and other costs. However, especially in Denmark, they observed that this leads to the problem of the elderly and other subgroups not having proper access to those services, or the adequate ability to use the tools necessary to interact with public services.

This is increasingly going to be an issue in countries where you can't, for instance, pay your taxes without online, and universal access, if it proves cheaper than the amount saved by streamlining other services, is clearly the way to go.

Re:This is probably a step in a wider plan.... (1)

TheBogie (941620) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542456)

I don't think they will be able to put many government services online. The government workers in france will riot when they find out their paper shuffling jobs have been replaced by a computer. Then the youth will strike until the evil "job stealing" computers are removed. Of course, chirac will back down like he always does.

In france, they would be better off buying air conditioners for their elderly rather than buying them computers. It might be a hot summer.

Web != Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542294)

Web is a subset of Internet

Hurm... (4, Insightful)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542299)

The more I look at Myspace and see what it's doing to a good segment of society the less and less I think "Internet for all" is such a great idea.

Call my crazy and all I'm ready for it.

EU US bullshit ... Or Reality ? (1, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542327)

Huh ?

In u.s., big businesses legalize almost everything to meet their ends, in expense of the people. Which means the MAJORITY of the nation.

They BUY lobbyists, these MISLEAD people, they DONATE to congressmen, these vote for their 'masters' instead of the constituents, and the big business gets its way.

When someone comes up and says "Hey, theyre reducing the people to dust. They are taking away opportunities from us. They are controlling us. There should be regulations", PAID lobbyists and 'think tank's come up and howl that "business should be free, hands off business and hands off shit and that". And they get their way. S/he/they who warn about the danger are labeled "fuckin liberal green commies". But IN THE END what happens is that THE MAJORITY of the people, EVEN the ones who label opposition DOES NOT get anything out of what big corporations do, they are just messed up further.

And here we have europe. There are HORDES of "fuckin liberal green commies" in power all around the europe, and in european commissions.

And these "fuckin liberal commies" blurt out HORDES of regulations, laws, directives each year, the rights of PEOPLE, the EQUALITY in rights and opportunities, the DEMOCRACY is preserved and furthered AND YET BUSINESS CONTINUES TO GROW ALL OVER EUROPE.

Here we have another example. Small steps adding up to an utopic internet, and no surprise; again in europe.

While u.s. is being HERDED in the other way by AT&T, europe goes on the road that leaves internet as we know it and furthers it.

Yet, still u.s. people do not rise up to the fact that, if you let businesses TOO MUCH FREEDOM, some get too big and TAKE CONTROL OF SOCIETY.

And whenever someone points out the difference between the status of u.s. and eu, its labeled as 'eu>us crap'

Well, its your problem before ours. We arent the ones who are being governed BY AT&T.

And i would wish the people who are annoyed with the way things are going in u.s. would migrate to europe.

Re:EU US bullshit ... Or Reality ? (5, Funny)

Twiceblessedman (590621) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542356)

"And i would wish the people who are annoyed with the way things are going in u.s. would migrate to europe." Why go all the way to europe when canada is just above them? ;)

Re:EU US bullshit ... Or Reality ? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542581)

I've thought about this already and I have the answer in two words: frozen north.

Re:EU US bullshit ... Or Reality ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542672)

Right... cause, you know, New York state (with pretty much the same climate as Southwestern Ontario) is a great frozen wasteland.

It's also pretty awesome how when you drive from Seattle up to Vancouver, the temperature plummets as soon as you cross the 49th parallel. I love how the cold air knows which side of the border to stay on.

Re:EU US bullshit ... Or Reality ? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542701)

I wouldn't live in WA or NY (or points northward) either. Most of the US is nowhere I'd want to live. OR is about as far north as I'm willing to go (I'm a CA native - you can say that makes me soft, I say it's given me an appreciation for the good life.)

Re:EU US bullshit ... Or Reality ? (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542778)

I've thought about this already and I have the answer in two words: frozen north.

You're one of those guys who shows up in Toronto with skis in July aren't you?

And here I thought the Canadians were just joking about that one... eh.

Re:EU US bullshit ... Or Reality ? (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542445)

And i would wish the people who are annoyed with the way things are going in u.s. would migrate to europe.

This is why the schools in the us are so abysmal at instilling knowledge of foreign languages. Less people will move if they cant speak the language.

That said, europe is not this utopian landscape you state. EUCD anyone? how about the fact that the EC has even less accountability than the corporate bought US legislative bodies? Add to that the continued evidence that the EC is becomming a us lapdog, and that many european nations have placed themselves at the beck and call of corporate interests (operation X and Y against "internet piracy" anyone?) and I don't see the EU as being the right place to go.

Canada has demonstrated far more in terms of true liberal leaning and resistance to corporate and US pressure. as a bonus they speak english there XD

Re:EU US bullshit ... Or Reality ? (1)

Obi-w00t (943426) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542727)

I know that some people here in the UK do not really care about their EU representatives (not sure how the other European nations fare) but that does not mean that they are unaccountable. Also I would call the EU far from a US lap dog, they have conflicted with the US over America putting tariffs on European steel and got the tariff lifted. They also conflicted with the US about giving arms to China (Condoleezza Rice highlighted this on a visit to China - quite an odd place to bring that up, one would think). They have not backed down. I also could not find this "Operation X and Y", and I can't find much evidence suggesting the EU at the beck and call of corporations. It may be true that Berlusconi was corrupt but generally there is little pandering for corporations in the major European nations, the same can be said for the EU.

Plus in countries like Germany and France, English is taught as a second language in nearly all schools (something Chirac isn't too pleased about, I hear). Oh yeah and there is a small group of islands off the French coast that speak English. I think it's called the United Kingdon.

Re:EU US bullshit ... Or Reality ? (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542489)

And i would wish the people who are annoyed with the way things are going in u.s. would migrate to europe. What, like a bird mate? Shall I come back in three months? I think that's just called a vacation.

Re:EU US bullshit ... Or Reality ? (1)

Olix (812847) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542575)

However, The Shadowrun setting is really cool, and I can't see such an interesting future arising from Europe. You might just about pull a World of Darkness out of the EU, but I think AAA corporations would be sadly lacking.

Re:EU US bullshit ... Or Reality ? (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542910)

In u.s., big businesses legalize almost everything to meet their ends, in expense of the people. Which means the MAJORITY of the nation.

Now I'm as paranoid as the next guy, but to say businesses legalize 'almost everything' is a bit of an exaggeration. There are plenty of laws on the books that business doesn't like, things like the SEC, FCC, HIPPA, GLBA, OSHA and the EPA. There is no doubt a good amount of government corruption and laws, like the DMCA, being pushed through by big business, but 'almost everything' is extreme.

But IN THE END what happens is that THE MAJORITY of the people, EVEN the ones who label opposition DOES NOT get anything out of what big corporations do, they are just messed up further.

And the small business owner gets the shaft on both ends. The issues that the big corporations don't care about get bypassed and the liberal commies make life hell for the little guy.

Yet, still u.s. people do not rise up to the fact that, if you let businesses TOO MUCH FREEDOM, some get too big and TAKE CONTROL OF SOCIETY.

Like who? Name ONE company that has taken control of society in recorded history? Sure, several have had significant influence, perhaps more than they should have, but historically governments have been much more oppressive than corporations have. Personally I'm much more afraid of a Dictator than I am a CEO.

Let the phishing begin! (2, Interesting)

Numbah One (821914) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542414)

as usual, politicians are suffering from Rectal Cranial Inversion Syndrome. perhaps the following should be asked of these paragons or virtue:

- how will the "Web-disadvantaged" connect to the Internet? will the government supply some of those $100 PCs that are being developed for the third world?
- who is going to handle the tech support when these folks run into problems?
- what happens when these folks, who don't have a lot of experience on the web, get e-mail from some poor woman from Nigeria who is trying to get $10Million out of her country and is willing to give a kind person 10% or 20% if they would send her their bank account numbers? will the government reimburse them?

i think it would be great if the web became like the phone system where nearly everyone has some type of low-cost access if they want it and it has a fairly simple interface. But we're not even close at this point. the web is barely 10-12 years old. how long did it take to roll out phone service to the current level?

Re:Let the phishing begin! (2, Insightful)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542596)

What makes you think that disabled persons must be poor, helpless and stupid? And why wouldn't that be the case for an average person?

If only the U.S....... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15542431)

Didn't have a Duopoly that's government supported then we could do the same thing. I seem to recall some grants going out to help expand broadband coverage It was used to upgrade their own network (read replacing fiber lines with newer fiber lines) instead of putting it towards the expansion. In the areas we service (almost the entire state of California) there hasn't been hardly any expansion at all.

I hate to say it, but I would honestly like to see a government body take over the control of the physical copper lines. That would be the only way to break up this monopoly in a way that doesn't allow it to come back. No one company should be able to control the copper as well as the services going over the copper. Imagine if only one company was allowed to have trucks capable of carrying water. And then we turn around and give that same company all the land that has drinkable water on it and tell them "now play nice" but don't do anything when they don't play nice. What do you really think that company that's responsible to stock holders and NOT to the public that needs the water will do? Probably not the best anology but still gets the point accross.

Re:If only the U.S....... (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542781)

Imagine if only one company was allowed to have trucks capable of carrying water...

We do this all the time. Don't know about where you live, but there is only one set of pipes that bring water to my house, only one cable company in town and only one electric company. There is no reason a private company can't own a utility and have service work adequately well with minimal oversight. If the government can't oversee and regulate what's going on now, what makes you think that public ownership would result in better service?

Re:If only the U.S....... (1)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542877)

Oh please. Look at your phone bill the next time it comes and notice the Universal Access fee. That fee is levied by the government and is supposed to be used to provide Internet access to the poor and disadvantaged. I'm sure it's helped some but it hasn't happened everyone in need and probably never will because the US government fucks up pretty much everything that it tries to do except for collecting taxes. When a government enacts any program to "help" a certain group of people you can pretty much guarantee that a good portion of said group won't receive any help, a greater number will receive some help but the problem won't be fixed and a whole bunch of government contractors and regular citizens who figure out a why to scam the program will make a shit load in the process. See the Hurricane Katrina relief effort for a prime example.

You know who really needs help in this country? The middle class taxpayer who is getting fucked in the ass by both the upper 1 percent who pay no taxes and by the government who taxes the ever loving shit out of them in order to help the disadvantaged.

Fiberlines, but no broadband - welcome to Europe (3, Interesting)

stirz (839003) | more than 7 years ago | (#15542507)

The news.com article goes "Rural areas are still underserved, according to the Commission, with about 60 percent penetration.". I wouldn't call the German capital a "rural area". In wide areas of eastern Germany and it's former capital, telephony is mainly based on fiber optics that were installed shortly after the reuinification replacing ordinary telephone-cables. It's rather bizarre when you live there because ISPs refuse to offer you more than dial-up (64K). If you are "lucky" and still have some ordinary copper-cored cable, you might get a decent DSL connection although fiber should allow "real" broadband.


regards,

Stirz
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