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Some say access to internet is so crucial, it is a human right

By in Press Enterprise on November 7, 2017

By David Downey

Editor’s note: An experiment in journalism teamwork, the Long Beach Media Collaborative is made up of participants from the Press-Telegram, Long Beach Post, Grunion Gazette, and Long Beach Business Journal. The collaborative was initiated by the Long Beach Community Foundation and is funded in part by the Knight Foundation. The goal: To combine forces for in-depth, multi-platform reporting on poignant issues gripping the community. This project, Strengthening the Signal, explores the dearth of Internet access in some corners of the city — and mines potential solutions for bridging the gap. Find more content from LBMC participants here.

STRENGTHENING THE SIGNAL, PART THREE: Should access to the internet be considered a civil right?

The way Bob Cabeza sees it, connecting to the World Wide Web is more than a convenience, it is an absolute necessity.

And those who can’t connect are at a severe disadvantage in today’s digital-dominated world.

“I really believe broadband access is a civil rights issue,” said Cabeza, vice president of community development for the YMCA of Greater Long Beach, in a recent interview.

“If families don’t have low-cost internet we’re going to keep them poor,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

The notion of access being a right has gained traction around the nation and world in recent years.


Part One: The harsh realities if living in Long Beach without the Internet

Part Two: Students without internet at home must do homework on the road

Infographic: Internet for all? Not yet

Infographic: How deeply the intenet has woven into young peoples’ lives

More stories: Long Beach Media Collaborative

The idea received a strong endorsement in July 2016, when the That sentiment was expressed in a revised Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The article states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right […]    

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