So as I sit here at a truck-stop in northern Ontario that has no power this morning in a truck that has apparently decided to continuously flush it’s radiator coolant on to the ground (i.e.. broken down) I am reminded again of what it’s like to have no internet. IT SUCKS!
As a technology enthusiast almost everything I do requires an internet connection and when I don’t have a connection it becomes incredibly difficult to do anything I regularly like to do.
Why don’t I just hook up to my phone and use my phone’s data? I’ve hit my data cap, that’s why. We still have these stupid ridiculous data caps for insane amounts of money here in Canada. Right now I pay an EXTRA $100 CAD just to have the “privilege” to use 7GB of “4G” freaking data. 7GB! To put this in to perspective I pay under $100 CAD (can’t remember the exact cost at the moment and I can’t look it up because NO INTERNET – EDIT $62.95 for 60 DOWN 10 UP UNLIMITED) for a 60mbit down and 10mbit up UNLIMITED connection at home.
The Canadian phone companies still haven’t been given enough of a push to start offering better data plans on their phones for reasonable rates. The CRTC earlier this year managed to do something great for the consumer. Guarantee net neutrality. This means no more offering free data for special services that the big companies like Rogers or Bell get a kickback for. This means all data is treated equal. This should in turn force companies to offer better data plans for better prices but I fear that the Canadian telecommunications companies are so full of themselves greedy that they may let the Canadian public suffer.
And this is exactly what these communications companies want. They want us to be afraid of them. They want us to feel that we owe them something even though we pay them quite well for their services.
A representative at Rogers was one asked if they offered unlimited data what would be the problem? The rep answered that their network wouldn’t be able to handle it. HAH!
Here’s the thing. If you take that record amount of money you make every quarter and invest it in your network like American communications companies do maybe we’d have a country-wide data network to be proud of.
The best thing that could happen at this point would be for the federal or provincial governments here in Canada to declare the internet a utility. Yes people get scared by this but it’s the only thing that makes sense. Once the phone companies were privatized there was very little done by any of them to improve our nationwide network.
Why in July 2017 do I still have to worry about breaking down in my truck going between Longlac, Ontario and Hearst, Ontario (210km or 126mi) because there is no phone signal? In the summer it’s not as big of an issue but in the winter without heat you can literally freeze to death. At the very least there should be a strong signal along all of our roads no matter what.
If the government was still running things yes it would not be run as efficiently but they would be continuously upgrading our network. Mind you I am not so sure about this today as our current governments only care about social minded things and green initiatives.
It’s a damn shame that instead of being a leader, Canada has dropped back to being a follower again. Don’t get me wrong, there’s lots’s to like about this country but our data infrastructure is the actual pits.