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Funding is gone, but that doesn’t mean less access

Today there was a rebuttal to my rebuttal in the newspaper. (Don’t you love that word?) I can’t copy and paste it here since that’d violate copyright (wouldn’t it?), and I’m not sure how long that link will last, but I will address his main points. Looking at the author’s profile he certainly does know more about this issue than I do, heck he even used to be a prof at SLAIS, but I still don’t think access is an issue in our region (as I said in my previous post, elsewhere in Canada, and abroad, but not so much here).

– Access is only high in the cities: In Ontario, over 66% of residents in rural communities have internet access. Yes that’s lower than the city, but still a majority. The Region of Waterloo Public Libary has a quote on their site saying all residents in the region are within 5 miles of a library branch. Not to mention, rural residents finally have other options than just dial-up (according to a farmer friend of mine).

– funding cuts to the CAP program: Certainly these are debilitating, making it hard for some places to keep their computers free and accessible, nevertheless places such as libraries are NOT getting rid of their computers! Libraries may be scrambling for funding, but when are we not doing that anyway!? (and yes I recognize, non-library CAP centres may not have the same resources as library ones.)

And on a small tangent, here are some interesting numbers from the November CAP newsletter:
Stats: From April 2007 until Nov. 1 2007
Number of People who Visited a CAP site: 514,447
Number of Computer/Internet training sessions held: 2,963
Number of people who received computer and internet training: 11,878

– Questions whether internet access would have certainly increased in the last 2 years as I claimed: well, I guess we won’t really know until StatCan (or someone else?) publishes more info. I hope they are doing the Canadian Internet Use Survey again soon, though it takes forever for any results to be released.

Actually it’s good that professor wrote in, that way people will see how important it is that programs such as CAP stop getting cut so drastically!

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About Jen

An instructor, a reader, a dog-owner, and advocate; that's how I define myself and these aspects directly impact my interests and conversations.

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