Interventions Phase 2: Intervenor 479

Document Name: 2015-134.226784.2519011.Interventions Phase 2(1hz_j01!).html

Leaving rural areas without modern internet connections (i.e. 20mbps+) is condemning them to die. Rural areas NEED world-class internet service. It impacts just about every aspect of trying to keep these areas alive. We cannot expect to improve education, attract immigrants, retain youth, create new modern businesses or offer a comparable quality of life in rural areas without the communications infrastructure to support it. And the previous target of 5mbps semi-reliable wireless (still 2-3 years away, at best) is not world-class; that's a target that should have been achieved 15 years ago, yet we’re still trying to hit it with a few parts of Nova Scotia within the next 3 years. Really, it's slowing progress down (much like the rest of Conservative policies).In Finland (a reasonable place to compare ourselves to, as they have a very similar population density to Nova Scotia), they have (rightfully) recognized that internet access now falls into the same level of essential public service as roads, and have committed to rolling out 100mpbs fiber connections throughout the country to every house that wants it. Their plan is on track, and they are already seeing the effects in rural areas with people moving back to small towns and telecommuting or setting up small businesses. http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/10/finland-plan-for-universal-100mbps-service-by-2015-on-track/Without good internet, we're shutting off a huge portion of the modern economy. People who could be remote workers in these communities, simply don't have that option. Immigrants won't live in areas where they can't Skype/Facetime friends and family. **** people like to game and socialize on the internet. Also, it provides access to a larger social community for people with niche interests, providing a richer social fabric than might be currently available in some of these areas. And if everyone had access, local governments could investigate more efficient delivery of services (including education and health care).A couple of places in Canada have independently improved their lot, but this is so basic and fundamental that it needs to be addressed at the federal level. It's WAY past time for someone in Canada to recognize the future, show some leadership, and get us ready for it. We can't wait for these incredibly greedy, unethical corporations like Bell, Telus, Rogers and Eastlink to decide they might be interested in a few specific areas. They either need to be forced to, or (preferably) we set up a Crown Corporation that provides fast, open, affordable and unfiltered internet to everyone.