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Internet For All in Europe 186

Posted by Zonk
from the what-about-here dept.
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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Internet For All in Europe

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  • mis-titled (Score:1, Funny)

    by zxnos (813588)
    should read 'prOn for all in europe'
  • by oni (41625) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @02:22PM (#15542042) Homepage
    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.
    • 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
    • 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
      • 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.
      • by JSchoeck (969798) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @05:01PM (#15543582)
        No central or western european country has any state-run telephone/internet companies anymore. All nations have broadband faster at equal speed or even much faster than the general internet connection in the USA. For example: France has DSL 20MBit in cities and DSL 6MBit in other areas, Germany has DSL 6MBit in cities and at least 2MBit in rural areas with 20MBit coming this or next year. You hope/uninformed prophecy will not come true, because internet connectivity in Europe is already past the state you describe for the future.
    • by sploxx (622853) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @02:44PM (#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?)
    • 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
    • > 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!
    • 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 [rferl.org]

      • by AK Marc (707885) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @03:29PM (#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.
        • 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 pr

          • I have no problem with that

            Does that mean you want the government to violate the Constitution when someone agrees with it, or does that mean that you think the actions are not in violation of the Constitution? I can't understand on which point (or both) that you don't have a problem with it.

            particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

            I see it as simply unconstitutional (whether you "have a problem with that" is a separate issue). By the wording, the wa
        • Where is your Unites States? I would like to visit there some day.
          --
          Learn to love Alaska [romancingalaska.com]


          About 1000 miles south/southeast.
      • 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

      • guarantees free speech in the constitution (which is NOT typically guranteed in Europe)

        Well, I think you mean UK on "most of Europe" as they don't have a constitution, but for much of Continental Europe your statement doesn't stand.

        Specifically, my country's constitution [wikisource.org] specifically says "61. (1) A Magyar Köztársaságban mindenkinek joga van a szabad véleménynyilvánításra, továbbá arra, hogy a közérdek adatokat megismerje, illetleg terjessze.",

      • Are you talking about the same United States that guarantees free speech in the constitution (which is NOT typically guranteed in Europe)

        See articles 9 and 10 here [opsi.gov.uk], which applies everywhere in the EU. And we can all have a much better discussion about human rights and freedoms when you bastards have either released or properly trialled everyone at Guantanamo - I agree with you on the mindless anti-americanism, but Bush has made it so much easier to be insightfully anti-american.

    • 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 polit
    • I thought too that the US were a long way ahead in technology. I came for a conference in Austin, TX last November, and on the way back I stayed for a week in NY. I was disappointed in some ways:
      How comes that I can't bloody call Europe from a payphone in Chicago airport? And where are the credit-card phones? It's an international airport, not a café! It's not that I did not try, and I tried the week later too. Yes, I know you use 011 instead of 00. It finally worked on Broadway by the 50th street.
      Why
    • In Europe, the Internet will be a place (more like what we in the US have today) where ideas are exchanged freely.

      you must be in Amsterdam smoking some weed to say something as incredibly daft as "Europe... where ideas are exchanged freely"

      In Europe, you can exchange ideas so long as they're everyone else's ideas. Jeremy [thepetitionsite.com] Clarkson [guardian.co.uk] would beg to differ [wikipedia.org] that ideas can be freely exchanged.

      you can't even bring up actual real history without getting into trouble. You can't sell WWII memorabilia in France if it [pcworld.com]
    • I don't think there will be the clear dichotomy like you suggested. First you said that only businesses would be able to afford internet access. That will never happen, because ISPs would lose a lot of money. They will price it as high as they can while still selling to the optimum amount of people. Which means it will have to be priced so that most people can afford it.

      And you said with certainty that in Europe with socialized internet service provision, ideas would be exchanged freely, versus the U.S. sys
  • eire (Score:2, Informative)

    by wwmedia (950346)
    [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 (Score:2, Funny)

      yes thats almost twice slower than dial up!

      When you say it like that, it almost sounds like it's faster.
    • Re:eire (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      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 mo
    • Re:eire (Score:2, Informative)

      by donutface (847957)
      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 kno
    • 30KB/s or 30kbps?

      Either way, that makes mine seem good in comparison (used to be £60/mo for 512kbps).
    • 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 inte
      • by hughk (248126)
        Its a last mile issue. WiFi in a high density area may have a range less than 50 metres if you are lucky. Someone is still going to have to wire up a *lot* of 802.11b/g routers and the users pay for the infrastructure.

        Telephony means there is copper going into your house which other stuff can ride on. It doesn't need to be a telephone line. It can even be cable tv.

        If you want true wireless, then you have the option of 3G (works in most city centres), but the pricing there is more in the direction of bus

    • 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 $7,000,0
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @02:26PM (#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".
    • 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 compl
    • What is "tha intarweb" anyway?

      You spelled "teh" wrong. ;)
    • Being a web-disadvantaged group is not all about having a connection, but about having the skills to use it.

      I just returned from a conference on patient rights. A dutch committee headed by one of our capatains of (telecom) industry has produced a report saying that patients should be more empowered by letting them arrange stuff on the internet.

      To bad your average patient is a 55+ female. give her a connection, and she won't use it, because she never learned how.

      One organisation is providing some interactivi
  • W3C (Score:4, Informative)

    by bsdluvr (932942) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @02:28PM (#15542107) Homepage
    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.
    • By 90% of the population, they likely mean far less than 90% geographical coverage. People aren't uniformly distributed geographically.
    • by revery (456516) *
      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.
      • 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.
        Its quite easy to 90% of either with far less than 90% of the other in most places. 90% geography is only guaranteed to mean 90%+ of the population if you require it to be the most populated 90% of the geography.
  • DL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wellington Grey (942717) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @02:38PM (#15542214) Homepage Journal
    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]
  • by Marsmensch (870400) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @02:44PM (#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.

  • Hurm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Churla (936633) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @02:46PM (#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.
  • 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 tr

  • by stirz (839003) on Thursday June 15, 2006 @03:10PM (#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
    • ISDN is available throughout the former DDR. This means a true 64K with the possibility of bundling 2 channels. ADSL at 2MB+ is available in towns (at least according to the German ISPs that I know), but perhaps not in all villages and there is also the possiblity of internet via your cable tv supplier. Cable TV is fairly ubiqitous in Germany with penetration down to the smaller villages. Many are providing broadband too.
  • Web-disadvantaged groups

    Like AOL browser running on Windows ME? I'm trying to think of worse . . .
  • I hate to be trite, but the Internet will only "be for all" when it is free. By the same token, water and electricity are not "for all" any more than phones, computers, and dentistry are. When our society commits to providing basic services like the Internet (and water and electricity) in the same way it provides schools and roads - via government - only THEN will these things really "be for all."

    Until then, these things are just like everything else: available only to those can afford them, and that le

  • Oooohh... the internet. I hear that have it on computers now-a-days.

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