As the world’s primary means of enabling learning, delivering knowledge, providing health care, enhancing agriculture, saving the environment, creating jobs, and understanding each other, the Internet is moving from commercial service to public utility. Still 3 billion people have no connection. The next step should become for them a human right.
Human rights are free and being human is the only requirement to be eligible. Free to every human who may need it is not cost free to society. Like public schools, street-lights, roads and sidewalks, it becomes the responsibility of civic society thereafter to manage, maintain, bid and subcontract the constituent parts in a competitive, innovative, free market manner. Like primary healthcare, public education, rule of law, police and defense forces.
Education, a special and important case, is the fastest road to dignity and freedom. It can no longer be a toll road. We can say that “a school without connectivity is not a school for the 21st century” and that all students and teachers have the right to be connected. For those who are disabled to be connected to the digital environment may change their lives. The same applies for a continued education, in particular for senior elders and the poor, who are mostly excluded from the digital resources.
The cost to connect every human being worldwide is far less than 0.1% of what we currently spent on war. Surely that is a small price to pay to elevate all of society, eliminate ignorance, alleviate poverty, share basic knowledge, and work toward world peace by better understanding each other.