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Cape Breton: Internet Accessibility Term Paper


Introduction

Cape Breton Island is located in the northeastern part of Nova Scotia and the Bay of St. Lawrence on the western part surrounds it while the large Atlantic Ocean covers the eastern section. Cape Breton is remotely located in Nova Scotia. Moreover, it has sparse population density. These factors are responsible for certain challenges associated with infrastructure development, and in this case, Internet accessibility. Therefore, there is an urgent need for Cape Breton to enhance infrastructure development.

Internet Accessibility

For business people in Canada who are connected to their computers and other mobile devices for accessing the Internet, operating without Internet connectivity may seem impossible. However, in Cape Breton, not everyone can gain access to the Internet. Specifically, individuals without the Internet are generally marginalized rural, low income, uneducated or elderly people.

Although the number of people with access to the Internet increased steadily between the year 2004 and 2009 globally, there were notable declines in these numbers between 2009 and 2011. In addition, Internet accessibility is projected to decline between the year 2013 and 2017 (Quandt par. 3).

In the past, certain trends such as increased urbanization, introduction of affordable smart devices, cell phones and the Internet increased usages have been responsible for growth of the Internet accessible. These factors, however, will not be able to facilitate Internet connectivity to the rest of the population because of poor infrastructures and low incomes among others.

Cape Breton residents who cannot simply gain access to the Internet continue to experience constrained prospect for economic growth, slow personal development, poor education, business opportunities and other factors that influence standards of living. In addition, their contributions toward the development of the Island remain unheard.

Generally, residents of Cape Breton who cannot gain access to the Internet miss opportunities on relevant information related to economic affairs, health issues, online government services or engage others socially.

The Internet improves participation in politics and other democratic processes in any country and mobilizing resources for worthy courses. Online presence has been credited with increased transparency, reduced costs of doing business, enhanced efficiency, reduced barriers of entry to businesses, generating of ideas, entertainment and access to education among others.

Beyond personal participation, poor Internet infrastructure in Cape Breton could result into slower economic development. The Internet has been responsible for driving economic growth, improved use of technologies, tourism and education.

Cape Breton must understand the disadvantages related to lack of the Internet to its rural, sparely distributed populations. The Island needs to understand the profile of its residents, who cannot again access to the Internet. In addition, Cape Breton must address the possible major barriers to Internet connection. First, the area is remote with sparsely distributed population and therefore there are no incentives to use the Internet. Many people are old and have experienced the digital divide.

Moreover, there might be a lack of sufficient local information to drive the use of the Internet in Cape Breton. It must take advantages of online freedom and data security in Canada and use them as incentives to drive accessibility and usability. Second, people in the rural areas have “low incomes and thus Internet affordability is a challenge” (Quandt par. 5). It is also expensive to ensure accessibility in rural areas.

Third, user capability could be limited because of lack of education on technologies, computer and Internet usage and capabilities. Computer illiteracy could be a major threat to Internet accessibility and utility in the Island. Finally, poor infrastructure has restricted Internet access in Cape Breton. There is simply no access to “network or mobile Internet coverage, specifically in remote locations due to lack of reliable infrastructures” (Quandt par. 5).

There are ongoing initiatives in Cape Breton to improve infrastructure development and expand Internet access through community shared resources and spaces in most villages (VCCAPS par. 2). However, these types of initiatives are restricted by massive investment infrastructures and resources required for several remote areas. While Canada may have relatively high Internet connectivity, certain parts of its rural location still experience poor coverage coupled with high costs.

For the last few years, however, there are ongoing remarkable investments to ensure Internet infrastructure and education in Cape Breton. The Provincial Government has focused on helping local businesses to understand capabilities of the Internet by demonstrating how data can be used for a more precise definition of market niches and geographical targeting (Ayers par. 5).

The project aims to offer usable data obtained from Statistics Canada and Provincial departments to communities with over 500 residents in Nova Scotia. Business must know how the Internet and its tools can transform their operations and save costs. In addition, the information offered is customized to meet specific needs of the Island. The Community Counts Web site is easy to use and new information is regularly added to the site. As a result, data provided make sense to local residents of Cape Breton.

This is one way of creating incentives among local residents and business communities to use the Internet and its many tools. Besides, education offered will facilitate utilization of the Internet in the Island. For instance, students conducting research may easily have access to customized data for demographic characteristics, market shares, size and other relevant data.

The data can be customized to cover other areas in public service such as healthcare and information on security and crime prevention. Moreover, data are manipulated into charts and graphs to make them simple for everyone to understand.

There is also improved private organization participation to ensure Internet accessibility in the greater Cape Breton Island. For instance, Seaside Communication signed a deal with the government to offer broadband Internet access to rural communities in Cape Breton and other parts of Nova Scotia. These partnerships target individuals left out of the network.

Nova Scotia strives to ensure absolute Internet coverage to improve lives of all residents irrespective of their locations. The provincial broadband initiative shows a greater potential because of collaboration between private sectors and other stakeholders. Focused contributions from the provincial and federal governments could boost private efforts to ensure Internet infrastructures for all residents in Cape Breton.

Conclusion

Obviously, Cape Breton requires infrastructure development to facilitate its economic growth and improve quality of life. Canada has significantly higher number of Internet users relative to its provinces. Mobile Internet coverage, educated population, cheaper Internet devices, coverage expansion, urbanization and enhanced reliance on the Internet to gain access to various services are responsible for the noted growth and accessibility.

However, the rural communities of remote places in Cape Breton are unlikely to realize any meaningful growth in Internet infrastructure and usability unless all stakeholders address the identified barriers. Without any meaningful investments in Internet infrastructures, changes in technologies, user education, customization of information, favorable Internet usage policies and adoption strategies, Cape Breton will continue to marginalize its rural communities from Internet access.

Works Cited

Ayers, T. “Businesses, organizations learn about Internet data tool.” Cape Breton Post. 2009. Web.

Quandt, Katie R. “More than half the world still lacks Internet access.” Cape Breton Independent. 2014. Web.

VCCAPS. Cape Breton Internet Access. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, March 25). Cape Breton: Internet Accessibility. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/cape-breton-internet-accessibility/

Work Cited

"Cape Breton: Internet Accessibility." IvyPanda, 25 Mar. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/cape-breton-internet-accessibility/.

1. IvyPanda. "Cape Breton: Internet Accessibility." March 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/cape-breton-internet-accessibility/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "Cape Breton: Internet Accessibility." March 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/cape-breton-internet-accessibility/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "Cape Breton: Internet Accessibility." March 25, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/cape-breton-internet-accessibility/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'Cape Breton: Internet Accessibility'. 25 March.

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