Two decades after the Internet transformed our lives there is still a geographic divide between those living in cities who get top quality affordable broadband access and those in rural and remote areas who get expensive low bandwidth connections and some in those areas who still rely on dial up to get on the Internet.
A growing issue effecting online life is what is known as Net Neutrality. ISP's have been impairing the operation of online applications such as VOiP services and streaming video services because they conflict with other telephone and cable TV offerings. Recently in the United States the Federal Communications Commission redefined broadband from an information service to a communications service and subject to tighter regulation to prevent impairment or blocking online services that conflict with other services the telephone and cable companies offer.
Access to information and communications services are most needed in times of emergency or crisis. Recently the federal government and the broadcasting industry have revealed Alert Ready a single notification system to alert Canadians of many kinds emergencies through radio and television. Great that we have it now but we have lagged behind the rest of the world by decades. Conelrad, the first media emergency information notification in the United States was implemented in 1951.
As technological issues affect our lives they are not even on the road maps of the political parties. Neither the Conservatives, Liberals, NDP and the Greens haven't proposed any policies or even taken a position to support Net Neutrality, close the digital divide, and maintain access to communications and information in times of crisis.
Governments both past and current have sold off the airwaves to the cellular industry while law enforcement agencies emergency services, emergency aid agencies and when needed the Canadian Forces still do not have a single interoperable communications system. Under both Liberals and Conservatives Canada's media and telecommunications industries into just a few vertically integrated giants that in offer services that support other services. Online access Canadians in rural and remote areas gets continue to lag behind those in urban areas regardless of which party is in government.
Canada needs a Nerd Party to ensure an open neutral Internet is available to all Canadians regardless to where they live. Nerd Party MP's will also ensure that information and communications will be available in times of crisis. Send a nerd to Ottawa to stand up for your digital rights.
Don't be a turd, Vote Nerd!!