Is the broadband economy open to everyone?

According to the T&T, yes.

Again, we have a case of yes, but no.  I remember Jean Cretien back in the mid 1990s talking about how the new ‘information highway’ would level the playing field for urban and rural Canada and for big city and small town Canada.  Work, we were told, could be done anywhere.

And then, under Cretien, we proceeded to witness the biggest centralization of jobs in a few large urban centres in the country’s history.

In New Brunswick, 80% of all IT jobs are in Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John (and 45% of the population). 

The truth is that in theory, you can do most of the IT work in places like Minto and Caraquet but it hasn’t happened.  So the playing field is not level.

I’m not saying we should try and ram IT firms into small communities but I think we could have done a lot more to develop the idea of a distributed IT workforce where people, if they chose, could work from home or work in a small cluster (like VAS has done with their micro call centres).  There are millions of freelance IT workers around the world.

But, like anything else, it would help to have supportive government policy in this area.

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One Response to Is the broadband economy open to everyone?

  1. anonymoose says:

    You can code from on your porch in Minto about as easily as in expensive Toronto office space.

    However, being in Toronto allows you to network with a lot more people, the guy in Minto’s big problem is finding customers.

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