Access to high-speed internet has been a major issue in rural communities all over Canada.
To this day, rural communities such as Scugog, and Kawartha Lakes, just a few dozen kilometers away from major urban hubs, still struggle to provide accessible internet access to its residents. Though work is being done to accommodate residents, the recent failed purchase of Internet Service Provider, Communicate Freely, by the Township of Scugog has seemed to slow down the process further.
Accessible high-speed Internet is vital for a small community to stay sustainable and maintain a healthy population. In fact, the United Nations Human Rights Council passed a non-binding resolution which condemns countries that intentionally take away or disrupt its citizens’ internet access, essentially making the internet a basic human right.
The importance of the internet to a small community is huge. For a small business in a rural community, the internet allows them to market their business to a much wider audience then they may be exposed to in a rural market. A small business may not get nearly as much auto traffic in a rural community, then a small business can in an urban market. For a smaller, or rural municipality, this means more local jobs, and a thriving local economy.
Using the internet, a small business can provide customers with the option to pay for products and services using their bank and/or credit cards, no matter where they are, just by using a proprietary device, hooked up to their cell phone. This can mean hundreds of more customers a week, for a small business in a rural community. Especially since, many people just do not carry cash on them anymore. These points are important to keeping businesses and people in our rural communities. Without internet, many people feel forced to move in to major urban centres. With the internet, businesses can reach local, national, and international customers. Something that would never have been possible before.
Having unlimited access to information helps people to better understand things, they may have never thought or cared about before. Communication has been revolutionized because of the internet. Being able to communicate with anyone around the world has resulted in a much better acceptance and understanding of its different cultures.
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