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Networking The Internet Technology

German Federal Court Rules That Internet Connection Is Crucial To Everyday Life 110

Qedward writes "Internet access is as crucial to everyday life as having a phone connection and the loss of connectivity is deserving of financial compensation, the German Federal Court of Justice has ruled. Because having an internet connection is so significant for a large part of the German population, a customer whose service provider failed to provide connectivity between December 2008 and February 2009 is entitled to compensation, the court ruled today. 'It is the first time the court ruled that an internet connection is as important a commodity as having a phone,' said court spokeswoman Dietlind Weinland. The court, however, denied the plaintiff's request of €50 a day for his fax machine not working."
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German Federal Court Rules That Internet Connection Is Crucial To Everyday Life

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  • Surely... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by webmistressrachel ( 903577 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:04PM (#42687197) Journal

    If Internet is essential to everyday life, these so called "rehab clinics" where they "cure" people from the Internets are actually not "good for us" at all.

  • Re:Surely... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:12PM (#42687263)

    If food is essential to everyday life, these so called "weight loss clinics" where they "cure" people from their food addiction are actually not "good for us" at all.

    Fix'd. Even water can be bad for you if you drink it too much.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:15PM (#42687291) Homepage Journal

    What if the internet is down because the phone is? It isn't the ISPs fault but the owner of the copper.

    Then the owner of the copper owes a refund to the ISP with which it signed a service level agreement.

  • Don't be absurd! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jafo ( 11982 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:55PM (#42687537) Homepage

    "Internet access is as crucial to everyday life as having a phone connection [...]"

    The telcos *WISH* that having a phone connection were as crucial to everyday life as Internet access...

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @11:58PM (#42687551)

    I hope the effects of this ruling eventually trickles down to my country and this type of dropping a user is made illegal.

    The telcos and cabelcos have divided the country up into effective monopoly regions without the oversight that public utlities normally have. They also spend more on lobbying than any other trade group. So it ain't going to happen until something extreme happens, like a pretty blonde child dies in a way that can be directly attributed to a data-cap.

  • by cbope ( 130292 ) on Friday January 25, 2013 @04:52AM (#42688747)

    Ah... there's the catch. You see, in the gool 'ol US of A, this amounts to regulation. And everyone in the good 'ol US of A knows that regulation = bad. /sarcasm off

    As an American who emigrated to another country, this difference is really visible after you have been out of the USA for some time. I live in the EU, and the consumer protections are so much stronger. Much of what goes on as "normal business" in the USA is illegal here, with regard to consumer protection. Apple learned this the hard way, when they got slapped hard in several EU countries for attempting to induce customers to buy AppleCare protection when under EU law, consumers are entitled to 2 years of warranty protection, not just a single year as in the USA. Yes, I know AppleCare is more than just normal warranty coverage, but they tried to imply that without it you get only 1 year warranty which is absolutely not according to EU law and misleading to the consumer.

    As another example from the mobile phone industry, it is illegal here to tie the device to the service. You are free to buy your phone from anyone, and select the operator you want. You can change operators at any time, to any other operator. Your number is portable. All it takes is a new SIM card. Of course, this is only for un-subsidized phones, but subsidized phones are quite rare here. They certainly exist and major operators offer them, but the vast majority own un-subsidized since you are crazy to buy a subsidized phone (do the math, in every case, you are paying MUCH more to the operator over the life of the phone). Thanks to this freedom of unlocked phones and the ease of switching operators, there are literally dozens of operators to choose from, in this small country with only 5.2 million people. Compare that to the US where you have at most a handful of operators to select from and all of them are universally bad compared to the operators here. I would add that the prices for service here are much lower than in the US. It's quite easy to get a basic mobile service from about $10/month, and even service with data for not much more. Oh, and what are these things called data caps again?`We don't have those. Same for our internet service.

    Now, someone will chime in about educating yourself as a consumer, but we all know that most companies do not want an educated consumer, because educated consumers won't fall for their marketing tricks. Companies have proven time and again that without some amount of regulation they will act only in their best interests, which is to make as much money for their stakeholders as possible. The absence of regulation, as in the USA, lets companies get away with a lot more at the expense and detriment of the consumer.

    I'm also happy to live in a country (Finland) that has granted its citizens internet access as a right. Practically everything is done electronically here, from general banking to paying bills to shopping. Nearly all government services are handled electronically as well, so not having an internet connection severely limits you.

"If the code and the comments disagree, then both are probably wrong." -- Norm Schryer