chapter  4
16 Pages

The social impact of broadband Internet in the home


At the time of writing there is an almost ceaseless stream of news flashes and marketing messages trumpeting the future social and economic (not to ignore profitable) opportunities of broadband Internet access in the home. This has not gone unnoticed in policy circles since the early 1990s (Bangemann, 1994; DTI, 1994). More recently, and as a natural progression from the Bangemann report, the eEurope 2005 Action plan1 states:

broadband enabled communication, in combination with convergence, will bring social as well as economic benefits. It will contribute to e-inclusion, cohesion and cultural diversity. It offers the potential to improve and simplify the life of all Europeans and to change the way people interact, not just at work, but also with friends, family, community, and institutions.