Internet and the wealth of information it contains is transforming
society. Information is increasing efficiencies for all sectors
and enhancing the lives of all individuals. Connectivity allows
for the rapid exchange of information, and in turn, the rapid creation
of knowledge. Connectivity is not equitably available many jurisdictions
in rural Canada. Some countries have solved their connectivity problem
by adopting an equitable connectivity strategy. This allows all
communities to become "smart communities," to communicate, participate
and compete on a global level.
In rural and Northern Manitoba the ability to retain a community's
human resources is a priority. Ensuring there is broadband connectivity
provides a means to retain professionals, youth and businesses.
Connectivity relieves the negative impact of isolation allowing
community members to relate to their peers, keep in touch with current
trends, markets and educational advancements without leaving the
fulfilling rural lifestyle behind.
Currently our policymakers, regulatory agencies and telecommunication
companies are in the midst of the decision making processes regarding
the parameters that will ultimately determine the state of broadband
in Canada. The effect of broadband related technology on the Canadians
of tomorrow is obviously far reaching and thought provoking. At
first glance broadband allows for increased interactive communications,
higher security, improved education, superior healthcare and enhanced
economic opportunities. Upon further reflection the future of our
non-urban communities depends on equity in connectivity.