Europe’s Information Society project and Digital Inclusion: universal service obligations or social solidarity?

Philip Leith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The importance of digital inclusion to Europe is obvious: as we move towards an ever more internet-communicating society the lack of access to basic digital infrastructures for a significant segment of the population is both problematic for those individuals without access and also problematic for those providing services which should be efficient and fully utilised. The EU’s ‘Information Society’ project has been the central plank of the European attempt to build a European digital marketplace, a concept which necessitates digital inclusion of the population at large. It is a project which prefers universal service obligations to achieve inclusion. If that is to be the preferred solution I suggest that we must consider exclusion from the banking system, given that the Information Society is at root an economic community.

However, universal service obligations are not the only method whereby digital inclusion can be encouraged and I posit we may need to reconsider the role of the state as supplier of services through the concept of ‘social solidarity’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102 to 123
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Information Technology
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

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