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EU set to demand broadband access for all

Internet access will soon be a basic right of EU citizens

If you're living in a part of the country that has yet to be reached by broadband internet access, then help could be at hand from the European Commission.

The EC is about to begin a review of the communications services available to EU citizens and, if it finds a majority of them use broadband, then it will likely mandate that it must be made available to everyone.

Universal coverage

EU Rules called the Universal Service Obligations cover what member states must provide to citizens. When usage of any service passes 50 per cent of the EU, that service is considered essential and must be made universal.

The scheduled review has been brought forward because Commissioners realised that the rapid growth of broadband will probably hit the threshold before long.

Legislation likely

Should that happen, telecoms companies across Europe could be forced to expand their networks to even the most remote areas as early as 2010.

At the same time, the minimum speed considered acceptable is likely to be raised from the current 28.8Kbit/s. It's nice, but how about a slice of that Japanese 1Gbit/s pie, eh?