Canada’s Digital Divide Isn’t just about YouTube

TeraGo Networks Broadband is not a Canadian human right.

While the above statement is true for some people, (who would prefer the government spend its money on more “important” matters), we must look deeper at the ramifications of not closing the gap between broadband in rural and urban Canada.

We can easily concede that a teens inability to upload a video of him and his friends skateboarding in Barry’s Bay Ontario does not present a critical issue facing Canadians today. Imagine though if that same teen hurts his head on the sidewalk, and the hospital in Barry’s Bay is unable to upload the X-Rays to a specialist in Toronto.

Companies have for years been the lynch pin of rural communities. They( companies and residents) exist only to support each other. While the ILEC’s discusst being able to cover all people with broadband, they have yet to address the need of businesses. True Symmetrical Broadband. Not getting business grade broadband out to these companies, will make giving residences wireless and satellite  internet will become moot, because nobody will be there once the companies ability to use and compete with modern technology is gone.

Soon we will be in a Canada, where 2 high school students of identical grades will attend UofT together. One of these students grew up in downtown Vancouver with access to a rich broadband network and access to all kinds of applications and emerging technologies in his high school. The other in huntsville Ontario, where the dial-up internet in his school makes even “Twitter” foreign. These 2 students were not afforded the same tools to learn, and will not start on equal footing once they enter post secondary School.

So while broadband is not a human right. Last time I checked, Healthcare, Education and a companies ability to compete on a equal playing field were all pretty important. The government needs to recognize the different standards of bandwidth required and ensure that our institutions have what they need to advance.

Attached is our response to the welcome, and needed government consultation paper on the digital economy in Canada.

TeraGo Networks Digital Economy Submission

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