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Costa Rica to Make Internet Access a Constitutional Right?

Costa Rican lawmakers want to entrench the right to internet access in the constitution, in response to a controversial proposal to standardize mobile internet rates.

costa rica internet constitutional right 1Ronal Vargas Araya, a lawmaker from the PFA party, said he had the backing of 17 other members of Costa Rica’s 57-member unicameral congress, local daily El País reported.

Vargas said universal internet access is a human right and cited other countries such as Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Estonia and Peru which have approved similar laws.

His efforts are in response to telecom regulator Sutel’s proposal to set a standard per-kilobyte download charge for data, equivalent to 7.68 colones (US$0.014) per megabyte.

The model currently applies to postpaid users, but if approved the proposal would also apply to prepaid users.

Sutel’s proposal is meant to discourage a small share of subscribers from using disproportionate amounts of data. Sutel claims these heavy users are saturating telephony networks.

The country’s telcos have said they support Sutel’s proposal, but the constitutional court, congress and the executive branch are currently reviewing it.

By Bronson Pettitt, From – bnamericas.com

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