European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.

Bert Heymans, 2007 CC BY-SA 2.0
Bert Heymans, 2007 CC BY-SA 2.0

European right to internet: To be online, to be alive?

Are you moving to a new city or a small mountain village? Just like Filip, Eva and Laura from our stories below, you too have the right to internet.


Filip moved to the countryside but wants to stay online:

Filip moved to a remote part of the countryside and wanted to get internet connection in his new house. Several companies refused him first, claiming that their network doesn’t cover the area where he lives. But he managed to find out who the universal service provider in his country was. He contacted them and got internet connection to his house.

  • In the EU you are entitled to obtain basic, affordable, good‑quality online services, provided to your house or flat. This means that there must be at least one service provider in your country able to do this. Under EU law, this operator is known as the "universal service provider".
  • To find out more, contact the national regulatory authorities in your country. They will put you in touch with your universal service provider.


Laura is choosing new connection:

Laura wanted to get internet connection to her house but didn’t know which quality either of the service packages brings. Luckily all the internet providers gave detailed information about their services on their web pages. Laura also managed to get extra information from the national regulatory authorities for electronic communication.

Service providers are obliged to:

  • Inform you well in advance about any changes to the terms of contract (i.e. increase in prices for the service)
  • Allow you to back out of the contract without any sanctions in case you don’t agree with the new terms of contract
  • Set a reasonable minimum time for signing the contract – such as one year. Contracts for minimum of  2 years or more are illegal.
  • Provide you with information on: current prices, rates and fees (including service packages), general terms and conditions, the quality of connection (i.e. the speed of data download)




Eva came to Prague and needs to get online for free:

Eva found the nearest branch of the municipal library in Prague which offers free internet connection both for its members and visitors. 

  • Because Eva is not a member of the library yet, she can use their internet for 30 minutes (unless it’s being used by a registered member). All the computers are centrally secured with an antivirus program. You can use your own USBs there, work with files in the Open Office programs or print for special library rates. Once you become a registered member, you can book an hour a week on the library computers.
  • If Eva comes with her own laptop or a portable WiFi device, she can use the WiFi network called “mestska knihovna” (public library) for free in any municipal library branch.