July 4, 2009

Has The Telecommunication Industry Forgotten About The Impaired Customer?

Are hearing, speech, and vision impaired people being overlooked? 


  1. Not only are the disables being overlooked but according to the below blog ...so is the entire continent of North America....

    I’ve been living in a region that has sub-standard internet access and cell phone service for many years, and I hardly ever think about it. From time to time, I wonder if we’ve allowed ourselves to fall behind because of ignorance, apathy, or resignation. In the beginning, I’m sure it was ignorance. Now that the media has informed the population, I believe the cause is resignation. We now live in the technology Third World. The region I’m referring to is North America.

    So, to recap, Canadian and American ISPs provide internet service that is up to 20 times slower than most of the developed world (and slower than many developing countries as well), throttle traffic to reduce bandwith usage, and place monthly limits on their customers, while charging almost twice as much as ISPs in First World technology countries. At least two of the continent’s largest cell phone providers will soon charge you 15 cents every time someone sends you an unsolicited text message, and spam is threatening to destroy text messaging in Canada. We’re paying the highest prices in the world for the world’s worst service. We’re aware that it’s happening, we’re aware that our countries are lagging behind the rest of the world, and there’s nothing we can do about it because there aren’t any alternatives. It’s no longer ignorance or apathy, it’s resignation. North Americans have resigned themselves that ISPs and cell phone providers have a monopoly and can spend as little money on equipment, provide as little service, and charge as much money as they want and there’s absolutely nothing that anyone can do about it. We’ve slipped into the technology Third World and resigned ourselves that we no longer live in high tech countries. There’s not enough bandwidth and there never will be. We had the misfortune of being born in the wrong hemisphere. I’m simply astonished that the country that invented the internet would allow itself to have some of the slowest internet service in the world. I never thought that Canada and the U.S. would become Third World countries, but when it comes to technology, I watched it happen, and it happened fast.

    Tags: Bell, Comcast, internet, Rogers

  2. The US is geographically much bigger than most other countries, so I don't think lagging behind in raw broadband speed by 20% is that big of a deal; most people just don't download big enough stuff most of the time to use the caps as they are. As a heavy user, I find that my service is plenty fast enough even when I'm not on the highest tier.

    There will, though, "never be enough bandwidth" and we'll keep adding capacity continually for the forseeable future.

    However it is annoying like you point out the throttling and cap attempts that ISPs are making. ISPs are big business, and they are making huge money from subscribers as well as receiving tons of money from the government to build up their backbone, and it's disgusting that they're trying to find ways to limit service instead of actually spend the money to upgrade the network in many cases.

    However, I'm glad that I'm no longer just a huge nerd for caring about these things, as when Time Warner tried to roll out plans with bandwidth caps there was a huge public backlash, and congress threatened legislation to make bandwidth caps illegal. Hopefully this is a sign that things will get better.