Whoa! Canada

laurel l. russwurm's political musings

The Internet IS a Necessity of Life

with 11 comments

Maple Leaf that says "Oh! Canada"

jobs

In today’s world it doesn’t matter if the job you’re seeking is high tech or low tech. Whether you’re applying for a position as team leader at RIM or just looking for work digging ditches, odds are your newspaper will direct you to apply online through Workopolis or the like.

government

Filing an Income Tax Return? The Canada Revenue Agency (the federal agency formerly known as Revenue Canada) wants you to e-file your tax return. Makes sense; I’m sure the physical printing and distribution cost of printing up millions of income tax booklets every year cost them a fortune. Online filing is far more economical for our government. Expecting a refund? They prefer direct deposit, Same deal; saves them vast amounts of money.

[Some branches of government lose track of the fact that ALL government spending comes directly out of the taxpayer's pocket. That's you and me, hoss. Saving money is good for us, too.]

The Canadian Government has invested a substantial amount of money going online. Not only does this increased access make it easy for Canadians to find out about our government, or to find the right elected representatives to complain to, but importance of Canadian Law being available online cannot be underestimated.

finance

Banking? I don’t know about you, but my bank is trying really hard to convince me to go paperless. Less printing means lower overhead.  Think they’ll lower our rates?  Nawwww….

shopping

Searching for the elusive Beanie Baby missing from your collection? Or maybe you need someone to shovel your drive? Try Craigslist or Kijiji Because classified advertising is online.

Shopping for a big ticket item? You can house hunt online with the Canadian Multiple Listing Service. Follow the map, see the properties, and save a lot of time for both you and your realtor. Looking for wheels? These days every major auto manufacturer has a website with virtual tours of vehicles on offer. Even the Autotrader is online in today’s world.

Comparison shopping online helps narrow down where you’re going to go for junior’s new 2 wheeler or the bandsaw Aunt Aggie wants for her birthday.

news

When there’s a big explosion from the direction of the chemical plant it’s a lot safer to close your windows and check the news online to see if you have to evacuate.

But news isn’t just local anymore. The Internet makes it possible to read the news or watch news broadcasts from all over the world.

school bus

school

Checking the school board website to find out about bad weather bus cancellations/school closures is better than hoping you catch it on the radio while rushing to get kids off to school.

Don’t forget online assignments. Students are expected to do a fair amount of school work in digital formats. Schools, programs and course material are online.  Kids in families without Internet access are at a huge disadvantage which is certainly not good for Canada.

retail

Small businesses in every field need an internet presence. A website is crucial and the Internet can help small businesses lower their overhead and increase their market just the same. The Internet levels the playing field, and thriving Canadian businesses can help build Canada’s reputation and strengthen our economy.

Small business in a retail district

Being online is no longer an option for small business.

Canadians need to stop Usage Based Billing because it will negatively impact on all of these things and more.

When I first learned about Usage Based Billing last fall I began the public service blogStop UBB. As I have learned about the technical aspects of the issue I’ve explained what I’ve learned in an attempt to demystify the Internet and the UBB Issue, since it will have a serious impact on all Canadians. Because the mainstream news media (with the exception of CBC online) has been pretty silent on the issue, for the most part only computer professionals even know this is going to be a problem.

Stop Usage Based Billing Blog logo

Most Canadians won’t find out until we’re hit with the grossly inflated bill.

Probably the best place to start is learning more is Stop UBB glossary, because it explains jargon in an attempt to make the issue intelligible to Canadian Internet Users. The StopUBB left sidebar has a complete Index to help reference the information.

An really important thing we can do is sign the online petition at

http://dissolvethecrtc.ca/

To fight UBB you can write to all the same politicians I’ve listed contact info for in the previous article about Canadian copyright Canada don’t need no stinkin’ DMCA

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11 Responses

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  1. Hello Laurel,

    How much bandwidth does it take to bank and shop online, or do any of the stuff you mentioned?

    Not antagonising, but I need to know.

    RobertX

    May 26, 2010 at 9:15 pm

  2. That is the problem. I don’t know. Most people won’t. That right there is part of the problem. Apparently there are tools that can track specific things, but mostly it will be a best guess.

    Worse, there is apparently a divergence between what Bell says usage amounts are and what the Independent ISPs say the usage is, apparently as much as an 800% difference.

    Will bell be making up usage numbers as they go? There’s a lot to find out.

    Laurel L. Russwurm

    May 26, 2010 at 9:28 pm

  3. I can see that your continued will to fight with UBB does require passion, but I keep asking myself, “is it worth it?” To answer that, I keep answering “I don’t know.”

    RobertX

    May 26, 2010 at 9:42 pm

  4. Laurel,

    What fuels your motivation to fight UBB? If Bell imposes a 60GB cap, would you be content?

    RobertX

    May 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm

  5. [...] A decade ago the Internet was a luxury item; a time waster for most small businesses. That is no longer the case. [...]

  6. [...] Internet rates are some of the highest in the world. The Internet is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity for Canadians. But not all Canadians can afford to even go online. The “digital divide” is yawning [...]

  7. [...] overcharged is bad, but being cut off is unacceptable. Because the Internet is a necessity of life. And I would think that is more true for a University student than anyone [...]

  8. [...] while I was busy raising my child, but the Internet was itself evolving from a marvelous toy into a necessity of life. Today the Internet has become incredibly important to the economies of the world. In Canada UBB [...]

  9. [...] is a more tricky issue.  I do agree that in today’s world, internet is a necessity, especially for someone in a computer science program! But is home internet a necessity? I [...]

  10. [...] is a more tricky issue.  I do agree that in today’s world, internet is a necessity, especially for someone in a computer science program! But is home internet a necessity? I don’t [...]

  11. [...] little more than a year ago I blogged that The Internet IS a Necessity of Life in my Oh! Canada [...]


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