Access to the internet

Affordable, universal access to the internet is far from a reality. While some countries have enacted legislation which guarantees access, others are more hesitant, acknowledging the internet’s importance for development but wary of considering it a basic right.

Access to the internet is a multifaceted issue which goes beyond access to the physical infrastructure. However, access to the physical infrastructure is necessary for internet access, and the internet’s backbone is constantly developing. Please click here to see current status of undersea cables, which are very important for enabling access in the developing world.

APC believes that the internet, with all its potential for enabling democracy, development and knowledge-sharing, should be seen as a public good. As such, governments should take steps to enable affordable access for all citizens. As described in the freedom of expression section we see universal internet access as a critical building block for exercising the rights to freedom of expression and association.

APC calls upon states, particularly developing states, to adopt and implement unversal internet access programmes in their endeavor to promote development in urban as well as rural areas. Meanwhile, APC calls upon developed states to facilitate such programmes by developing an inclusive internet infrastructure with a focus on bridging the digital divide.

However, it is important to understand that access to the internet is a multi-faceted concept, including access to the internet in local languages, access for disabled persons and the ability for everyone, including local minorities, to develop and share their own content.