The Information Superhighway
To those of us born in the information age, it is obvious that improving our government’s efficiency will rely upon, and greatly benefit from, the use of the Internet and web applications. The potential of broadband technologies to revolutionize how the Canadian government bolsters its economy and social well-being is an exciting future that awaits all of us. Ideas are limitless: from greater government transparency through online consultations and town halls, to mobile voting, to greater accountability not only from governments, but also from its citizens.
If there ever was a time where the integrity of democracy could be radically improved, it is now in the 21st century. As the construction of cross Canada railways uplifted the country through igniting industry, bringing all of Canada online can unite the country through a strengthened democracy and self-reflective community.
Yet, this future is only possible if the entire country has access. Due to the sheer size of this nation there are many remote communities in every province and territory still without Internet connections, or at best they have dial-up, and at the web’s current rate of advancement dial-up internet is assuredly not enough.
In short, free market forces have no financial interest in equipping these communities with high speed access, leaving them behind in a society where access to web resources is an assumed given.
To ensure the integrity of our government’s migration online, how should the Canadian government proceed to ensure that every citizen has access to broadband Internet by 2017?