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GoviNetUK™️©️ - An ISP for a Digital First country. ⋆ Parity Of

GoviNetUK™️©️ - An ISP for a Digital First country.

Getting the country Digital First & jump online for the 21st Century

TLDR: I believe that Broadband should be a right, to most people throughout the world. I also believe it’ll essentially pay for itself. This is the case for everyone to have at-home access in the UK. .

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GoviNetUK™️©️ – An ISP for a Digital First country.

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Why I believe Broadband should be a right for all citizens of the United Kingdom.

I believe that Broadband should be a right, to most people throughout the world. I also believe it’ll essentially pay for itself. This is the case for everyone to have at-home access in the UK.

We have many Vital Services that require access to the internet to work, especially looking to the future. Wether this is Right or Wrong – is another argument for another time – I get that they’re lots of people out there who like to call up a Call Centre; My Mum is one of them. But the fact is, more and more services are going to Digital First (not Digital Only, but Digital First). If The Public don’t have access to these services, then they’ll be a second class citizen… They’ll get ‘lost in the system’. As the Pandemic has shown, we have an Epidemic of a whole bunch of services, that are essentially inaccessible.

Here I lay out a few talking-points, in no particular order, of why I think such a system should be setup.

Job Centre

If you want to get access to JobCentre Benefits, you need an internet account & Email Address; it’s vitally important so they can get your password to you / reset your password; another argument is for access to SMS services, but I’m not going into that one today (although I know how important it is for ‘2 Factor Authorisation’… but I’m not really going into that). The clientele have a little chat log with your various workers, and can see update to their benefits. Some of those require replies within a few days, or you lose your benefits that you’re legally entitled to. You can sometimes call up, but you call to a central booking office, and in that case, you’re not dealing with the individual who knows you.

A lot of the information too, is only online. Or the postal service is too slow. There isn’t a printed version, of everything, in every language….Or if there is, it’s hard to find & require going down to the Job Centre to get. Naturally because paper is limited, it won’t have a much information, nor be updated. 

As a UK Citizen, it is vital that you get access to your Journal, should you have one, and 24/7. Your benefits can be effected greatly, just by missing an appointment by 5 minutes (or whatever), let alone a few days.

Barrier to Work

I don’t know if it’s just me & my industry, but try finding a job these days without having a ready to use internet access. All the forms are online, the emails are online, the job-searches are online. On top of this, you have to upload your CV (which I’ll get into having your own computer, later on).

There also is a stigma that if you can’t get online, that you’re computer illiterate (which is probably true in a lot of cases, no offence, most of us are something-illiterate), but it could also mean that you can’t afford the internet access – or don’t prioritise it with limited funds. The stigma implies that you won’t be able to use the machinery required for the job – whether that’s getting a ForkLift License, using a Call Centre system or operating a till.

Barrier to Local Government Services

During the the last few elections I’ve known, all the political parties want us to be a “Digital First”strategy. What this means is, your first port of call (but not nessersarlly your only one), is accessing government services via the internet. Whether this getting your Rubbish Bins sorted, seeing if you can get XYZ parking system sorted, or whatever. As a Tax Payer & UK Citizen, it’s not right that one ‘puts into’ the system, without being able to talk them out. 

This also include getting information on the Law & your Rights; should you end up in a sticky situation.

Barrier to Government Messages, Education, and Other.

I think one thing that Covid 19 has taught us, is how important it is to be online.

They’re many education systems that require an internet access and computer, from nursery/primary school all the way up to the highest of high educations. When the Pandemic hit, Education was hit badly. Many children had to share computers, many had to use work-around such as using video game consoles or phones – Microsoft even had to put their Teams software on XBox. Parents had to pick which child got taught that day, on the basis of who got to use the computer. The exam systems for 2020 and 2021 will be a mess.

We’ve used the internet for a few decades now, such as BBC Bitsize, but having to rely on such services first-hand, was troublesome at best, for 100,000s (?) of families.

With most/all MPs and government services, now using social media, to give out their messaging. I’d say it’s vitally important that the public have access to this. It covers everything from Medical Advice to Anouncing Policy  to Organising Civic Action (such as protests (whether you’re for or against a specific one)),  & so much more.

This is especially vital when the government are known to do many U-Turns, such as School Dinners, Christmas of 2020, lockdowns, and when events are cancelled.

But what about going to the Library, or Job Centre, or an Internet Cafe.

This is quite a short sighted argument, on many levels.

These services are closing more and more. Although this is ovbiously not a good thing, it’s a relatively easy way for the government to save money with minimum casualties – don’t get me wrong, they’re still used, and greatly loved by the communities, but if it’s your local library OR your local A&E, it’s a no-brainier (it’s not an ‘or’, that magic money tree does grow, it’s just in very specific soils – but anyway, I digress).

What if you live a bus-ride away? Who wants to do their Banking in a public room? Who wants to look up medical conditions in a public room? What if all the computers were in use? The list goes on and on, on reasons as to why being online in public can undesirable at best.

You’re also at the whims of their opening times, or personalities of staff, or availability of the computer themselves. 

What if you make the journey to one of these internet places & that important communication you’ve been waiting for, hasn’t been sent yet, so you go back the next day, or the next day. Where as if you had internet at home, you can check it to when you want.

Just to emphasise the point – Even the Homeless (of all kinds) know how vital it is to be online. It’s their contact to their friends and family. It’s literally their BEST OPTION to get out of their terrible situation.

Give a man a fish, teach a man to fish
You can give the person some food/money, even a couch for some time – but that won’t last forever.
Getting online though, would be access to getting help.

Ok, ok, you’ve convinced me, let’s give them a few GB a month of internet.

No, no & no. It has to be 24/7 internet, you can’t find out that your child has been using the internet to watch Netflix, and used up all your account? What if you have a virus that uses up all your internet points? What if you fall asleep watching Question Time, and iPlayer auto-played throughout the night, other TV & that used up all your points. This needs to be a full service, 24/7, at a good enough speed to display websites.

It doesn’t need to be the fastest internet out there, in fact, I’d make the argument that it shouldn’t be. There should still be private ISPs out there, pushing for the newer and faster technology, offering 16k video access & minus-pings and all that jazz. To visit a webpage, you don’t need the fastest of internet. If one wants an internet access with all the Bells’n’Whistles, then they should be able to get it. Good luck to them ! But for the sort of families that would use this kind of internet, a basic but FULL service needs to be there, all/most of the time.

So how about we do some kind if filters? Like, so they can only do the bare minimum.

That’s also a ‘No’ from me, firstly, they’re ALWAYS circumventable. It’s an expensive folly to think otherwise. Whether it’s your child using Google Translate (you run a site through Google Translate with both the ‘from’ and ‘to’ languages your native tongue), VPNs, or anything else. It just doesn’t work. Sure someone is going to “Beat their Meat”, some are going to play Playstation64s, downloading music on Napster, some are going to watch Netflix, etc. But to be frank, so bloody what? You’d be right in saying that’s not what it’s for, but you couldn’t stop it for all the tea in china, so why try? Also, you’ll create a two-teir internet. What counts as a valid use? This news service or that news service? This app or that app? It also utterly stifles innovation, leads to cronyism, and all for what?

OK, but won’t the current ISPs be pissed; they’ve bought all this Infrastructure, and now everybody gets “Free Internet”, what a waste.

Not nessersarly, not at all. Home broadband in the UK starts at around 35mb, then there is a jump when you hit Fiber up to around the 60 mark, and then it just increases by around 30-100 as you jump up the scale. And then they’re businesses that have GBs (1,000 MBs) of internet.

II’m talking about just for browsing websites, using apps, email, that sort of thing. Not about streaming high-definition video or gaming. You don’t need a particularly fast connection for that – Pings and Latency doesn’t really matter – so I reckon around 12-16mb should do it – that’s half of the most basic option. You can also fit more people on the servers with this, but remember, this is made for people who can’t afford internet – anyone can get on the system, but if you want better, then you have to pay for it, at whatever the market rate is.

OK, but the government have to build the infrastructure from scratch? Nope, in the same way that Supermarkets such as Tesco can essentially create their own ISPs; the government can do the same. It’s just white-label. I’m not entirely sure about coverage, or alternative white-label services (such as maybe there is one for Virgin’s backbone?), but I believe the coverage is sufficient enough on OpenReach.

Why don’t you just throw in a free computer with it, whilst you’re at it?

  Look at these prices, and what even is a ‘computer’ anyway, a tablet with a physical keyboard is enough.

Yes, good thinking, an internet connection is useless without a computer; is like a Bacon Sandwich without Sauce. Like with mobility cars, those who qualify, should have one. You can now get computers that are up to the job, for RRP < £100, such as Chromebooks, FIre/Android Tablets with Keyboards, Raspbery Pi setups. Or the government can go up the likes of their friends at Dyson to come up with a system.

Maybe make them so they take out £5/month out of your benefits until you reach an amount that covers the cost. On a quick google, I’ve found a computer for $5. Pi systems are about £30. Cheap tablet-computers, with a keyboard and mouse, that can plug into the TV or a monitor, cost about < £100, and Chromebooks are about £150-250. All are up to the job.

Some more advantages, and some final thoughts.

It’s a well known trope in higher academic circles, that every class has someone who couldn’t afford books, so spent all their time in a library. That the library acted like a Babysitter whilst the parent was at work. That child grew up to be the next XYZ doctor, entrapanure, or similar. 

We now in 2021, look back at the previous generations, and how sad it was that certain kids couldn’t afford books. They’re charities out there for giving books to children so they can grow and learn, why doesn’t the government pick up that ball?

We’d save money by moving certain services online, not entirely, but partially, to stop having members of staff repeat tasks over and over, when a computer can do it. They’re making the cuts anyway, and at some point we’d have to pick up the minimising of the services.

If every child had a Kindle like tablet, or an Android equivalent to an iPad…It’ll save costs with all the books and reading materials being more digital, so that’ll take up some of the costs (not all, but some). It’ll be kinder on the environment in regards to not having to print out as much paper. Children can look up their class schedules. Marking homework is much easier. Communications between the schools, parents, teachers, etc – are all much easier. It opens up transpaprncy. Kids no longer have to remember what books to take to what classes on what days. Libraries and knowledge-basses can be integrated. Children can use software to see videos, or dyslexic children can change the colours to make it easier to read. I’m not saying books don’t have their place, and lots of people love them – adore them – but we’re looking forward, and having things digital is less one would need in a backpack. We’ll always have these sheets of paper, we’d still need to know hand-writing, it’s just that some of it, can be digital.

(Oh’, we’d save some in postage costs too, as things can go to Email (or other email alternative) =P )

Thank you so much for reading, your thoughts and comments are most appreciated.

Whatever your comments & replies are, remember to be kind & enjoy your day.

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