In the same way that the telegraph machine transformed communication in the 1800s, the internet has revolutionized communication today. It has a significant impact on how news is relayed, how people communicate personally, and how business is conducted. Since the internet has become such an important part of daily life for some many people, internet access is crucial in order to stay connected and compete in the global marketplace.
One of the specific challenges that rural Canadians face is securing reliable access to the internet. Canada’s government has been pressured to make rural internet service a priority, prompting Canada’s government to launch a rural internet initiative and invest hundreds of millions in rural internet expansion. Here’s what you need to know.
Ontario is where Canada’s capital is located, and it’s the most populated province in the country, which underscores the need for expanded internet service for its rural population. The province is on the forefront of Canada’s rural internet service challenges. Internet service companies have prioritized service for those living outside urban centers, so that these people can enjoy the benefits of internet access that folks in heavily populated areas take for granted.
With a huge geographic area that is only second in size to Russia, the majority of the country is considered rural. And in terms of land mass, only Quebec is larger than Ontario. Ontario makes up almost 11 percent of Canada and has over 415,000 square miles of land and water. The sheer size of Canada as a whole, and Ontario in particular, speak to one of the biggest challenges facing internet providers when trying to expand services in rural areas. There are miles of wilderness and lakes out there, and getting the infrastructure in place to reach customers is difficult.
The federal government can help offset these challenges by providing the financial resources needed to help companies expand services, and as greater emphasis is placed on the need for rural internet services and more resources are invested, there is hope that business and citizens will benefit through service expansion projects.
Benefits of the internet
The internet is crucial for any companies trying to compete globally. It gives individuals access to goods from the most remote corners of the earth, but only if companies in those locales can develop and maintain a web presence.
While it was once necessary to physically visit a library to research school projects or learn about subjects of personal interest, individuals with mobility issues or limited public services can have access to all of the information that’s available online with internet service. The internet also removes obstacles for health care providers. It can be used to provide health services to rural populations to help reach patients who have limited access to medical care.
It’s also possible for people of all ages to pursue education online. Children living in rural areas can take courses on the internet and benefit from online tutoring, while adults who live far from urban centers can continue their studies to earn certificates, diplomas, and degrees.
When people are able to connect to the internet, they not only gain access to services and information, but they are able to communicate with other people throughout the country and around the world. This allows family members to stay in contact regularly. It has also helped increase awareness of social and political issues.
One of the other things it allows is for people to share local knowledge and insight that may not be easily accessed in books or other forms of media. For example, as climate change affects communities around the world, local residents are able to document its impact. People can watch research being conducted in real time. Individuals can also participate as a community by viewing things like historic events.