Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Digital Divide - Vote Labour ?

The Digital Divide - The Poor, The Disabled, The Deaf , The Unemployed, The Retired in the UK all pay more for a second rate Internet access - Universal discrimination -

For a socialist government not to have used its influence to ensure a universal access to information and communications and education to all its people will be looked upon in future years as a shameful neglect on the growth and enrichment of everyone's lives.

Today a £200 netbook with can stuffed with free stuff ... ANDROID - Google Applications -Mail - Chrome - Calender - Docs - Spreadsheets - Video- Chat - Voice & Video Messaging, Search - Maps - Links to medical Employment - encyclopedias - News And you could transform the lives of a a generation of users that have never previously had access.

There are enough wireless transmitters already available unused in the UK with a vast amount of radio spectrum and dark fibre running the length of the country to offer a basic free universal data service to everyone in the UK within months of legislation being past by whatever government is in power..

The UK Network has been built, paid for buy all of us that voted for free enterprise to enable the private sector to deliver pretty much what we already had in the GPO It could be argued that privatisation freed up the vast amounts it took to create and improve our existing networks but while the technology is there our high streets have armies of resellers trying to sell us more of the same to people that cant afford it that are the very people that need it most.

And of all of our so called electronic evangelists I really cant yet see the guys with the vision and political will to bring it all together.

Deafness discrimination is an issue close to heart,and I feel passionately that it cannot be right that a deaf consumer is forced to buy "voice or talk time" every month just to be able to use email and instant messaging, over the years of a mobile contract a deaf consumer is forced to spend thousands of pounds on completely unused or unwanted "Call Time" package.
There are 119,000 tariffs on the "free market "not one of which offers our 9 million deaf or hard of hearing citizens the perfect package.

My 70 year old mother - yes she's a silver surfer (though she would swear its "Ash Blondie" is fortunate to have 24 hour access but she's still got to drive through the city at 8.00 am to get to a doctors surgery to be told the doctor is away today sorry and no locum is standing in. A live web page would not only saved a difficult journey at a peak time of day but could have have allowed her to to book an appointment, re order prescriptions - find health education links - Even ask her GPs questions but no we are provided with an out of date business card that and told to use to telephone lines that are never answered.

So called third world countries are years ahead of the UK when it comes to Universal Access - We should not condemn a generation for our short-sightedness-

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