One of the big things in terms of bridging the digital
divide, which is what we are all about, is access to the net. Increasingly with ultrafast broadband
that is going to be an issue for impoverished communities. That is posing problems for us with fewer
and fewer families having a landline at home. So we see one of the opportunities now with
the development of the wifi networks and having the ultrafast broadband will make it more
affordable, we hope. So one of the things I am involved in is a
project looking at providing free wireless to households in Cannons Creek. We are hoping
that’s a project that can, one: be sustainable, and two: be reproducible. I actually got that cut off because of finances being
a little bit hard; due to change of circumstances in my life, I couldn’t really afford it.
I felt that other things were more important at the time. It is important for me to have the right connection
– broadband – because I need it every day for all the things I use it for such as Facebook
and Skype and internet banking and Trademe which is a favourite, and my son uses it all
the time for homework research and he was only just given a form to do his maths online,
extra learning. I would say over 50% of our learning is online.
Our tutors put youtube clips, we have a school website, and each course has our own website
so our course has got content on this website. Without the computer I can’t study. For my wife it was good for her to catch up
with old friends on Facebook. Social. She was the breadwinner. By the time she got home
she was too tired to go out and mingle with friends or go out with me. I go into internet banking and I do AP forms
and I transfer a lot of money from one account to another, put money into savings accounts.
Quite handy. Now I get all my bills through the internet, through emails instead of paper
and instead of sending them out every month. I started mine a couple of years ago, all
that too. It’s way better. Cheaper too. The Internet is a big thing for us, for their
assignments in class, research, it’s gonna be really good. Before we used to cut things
out of magazines, or we would have to search at the library or something. With my 12 year old he had to do a research
assignment on World War One and when it’s raining and cold and we don’t have
a car and we didn’t want to go to the library we just jumped online.
So it’s awesome. So having the internet at home is just having the
access to the world.