There are certain luxuries that many people think are too expensive for regular use. For instance, some women have designer purses that they only break out on special occasions, while a number of men only wear their best watches to specific events or on holidays. Other times, there are items that are seen as way too luxurious for regular people to even consider buying.
The Internet shouldn't be on this list. Think of it this way - the Canadian Internet Registration Authority explained that about 80 per cent of Canadians go online regularly, so this access online isn't something that people in our nation should think is unattainable. However, as we all know, there are both well-off individuals and those who struggle paycheck-to-paycheck in Canada.
If Internet packages are too expensive, then poorer Canadians might not be able to afford to install connections in their houses. This is unacceptable, as the Internet has become almost a necessity in many of our lives. Children often need access to computers and online databases to complete homework and projects, while adults often like to go online for entertainment, banking and shopping, among many other things.
So what can Canadians do to make tapping into the Internet easier to contend with for everyone?
The current problem
According to the most recent Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS) released by Statistics Canada, there is a growing divide regarding Internet use between the higher classes and the lower. The report revealed that 62 per cent of those in lower income households use the Internet regularly, a number that skyrockets to 95 per cent when only high income homes are considered.
That being said, Statistics Canada pointed out that a lot of this sizable divide can be attributed to an age disparity. For example, within the lowest income quartile in Canada, only 28 per cent of those ages 65 and older use the Internet, but in the same economic bracket 95 per cent of those between ages 16 and 24 can say the same.
Is pricing to blame?
The Tyee indicated that there is a bigger force at play here concerning the disparity between the classes and Internet use. The source said that a lot of the higher statistics for low income families could be related to the fact that Canadians can go to public places like libraries to use the Internet, rather than having to pay for it themselves.
According to the news provider, if the government wants to see more Internet engagement among households that bring in less money, they have to take steps to make online access much more affordable. This is particularly true given that the major providers seem to have a virtual monopoly on things like Internet, television and phone packages, and when their rates rise, those of competitors often follow, which adversely affects all Canadians.
Other options abound
However, Canadians don't have to be at the mercy of the bigger Internet service providers (ISPs). They can use indie ISPs to get the best connection experience possible at some of the lowest prices. These smaller companies know that they don't have the history and reputation of their bigger counterparts, so they offer the best service, most laid-back contracts and lowest rates they can to give their clients great deals.