Citing inclusion and civic participation as trumping private profit, the British Broadcasting Corporation is making a case for government “intervention” in the broadband market to ensure universal access to affordable, high-speed Internet services.
In doing so, the BBC wades into the increasingly heated waters of the “Net Neutrality” debate.
At issue is whether the commercial owners of the telecom networks that propagate the Internet worldwide should be able to influence what is transmitted, and charge fees for higher speeds or prioritization of certain types of online content.
The BBC, as a “public service provider,” says its mission requires it to vault “all digital divides,” including social, geographic, age and ability.
This would ensure delivery of broadband Internet to communities that would benefit most from it, but which currently lack access — for example, in sparsely populated regions where demand is lower, making an investment in infrastructure less profitable to a commercial operation.
“BBC presses case for universal broadband”
Digital Spy, April 22, 2008