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ACM Opinion

The Coronavirus Crisis Proves The Internet Should Be A Public Utility


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fist holding Internet cable, illustration

Credit: Sling Broadband

Ephrat Livni is a writer and lawyer.

The spread of the novel coronavirus around the world has made many people shut-ins and proven conclusively that the Internet should be a public utility. It's a basic necessity in the 21st century, like running water, gas, and electricity. Indeed, the United Nations in 2016 declared that Internet access is a human right.

Sure, you could theoretically survive without it, just as you might light your home with candles or warm it by fire. But in wealthy societies, like the U.S., those are absurd notions. Living under such conditions is virtually impossible and endangers everyone.

The pandemic has illuminated the interconnectedness of everyone and everything. Your ignorance of infectious disease could lead to my demise and vice versa.

Although there are a lot of social woes to contend with right now, it's not too soon to recognize that lack of Internet access exacerbates existing class divides.

From Quartz
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