Re: Government earmarks $155 million for rural Internet (Oct. 6)

I found this article quite amusing. The government is spending $155 million to provide broadband to 400 northern communities

so they can have connectivity as we living in “”Southern Canada”” do. Well, these folks are obviously severely out of touch. I live in Peterborough County, 25 minutes north of the City of Peterborough, and I can assure you there is nothing approaching high-speed connectivity here, or in most rural areas of southern Ontario.

There is a Bell switching station in Buckhorn village, less than five km from where I live. It is not DSL-ready, and my inquiries with Bell as to when it might be made so resulted in a “”where’s Buckhorn?”” followed by “”when hell freezes over”” type of responses.

I guess to a politician or federal bureaucrat, anyone living in “”Southern Canada”” lives in a city that is already well served. What nonsense, and what a disservice to rural dwellers anywhere in the country.

Bud Street
Buckhorn, Ont.

Re: Government earmarks $155 million for rural Internet (Oct. 6)

I am certainly glad to finally see some movement in this area. However, it appears to be aimed at Northern Canada. There are hundreds of communities in central and southern Canada that do not have high-speed, or anything near it.

As an example, I live a couple of blocks off Hwy 43 going from Edmonton to Peace River. I am only 100 km from Edmonton and have a fibre cable running by me a couple of blocks away.

I do not even have 56K connection speed. There is only 28.8K available which mostly runs at about 22K. The reason I have been given, after five years of inquiry and many unkept promises, is that we have aluminum wires instead of copper and so will never have anything faster on a land line. Telus, our line supplier, says their requirement is to serve “”voice grade”” connections, and even though what we have is barely that, they have no intention of improving it.

On the main highway to Northwest Alberta, within 100 km of about 800,000 people, with small towns and hamlets every 10 miles, it appears that our service is neither good enough or poor enough to be considered.

Is it possible that this initiative could include communities like mine?

Kirk Paterson


Re: A Kutt above (Oct. 3)

I enjoyed your editorial, but was a bit disappointed that there was no mention of the fact that the MCM-70 was hard-coded for the APL programming language, which was every bit as groundbreaking on the software side as the MCM was on the hardware. APL usage thrives to this day, and was invented in 1962 by Ken Iverson, yet another Canadian.

Brian Oliver


Re: Limo company drives hotspots into passenger’s laptops (Sept. 30)

If wireless hotspots are going to catch on, the service will have to be seamless and free (i.e., use included in the price of another service, whether it be a cafe latte, a hamburger or a limousine ride). If the user has to install software or hardware, or pay an extra fee, I believe the service will fail.

The service may fail anyway. True “”access anywhere”” mobility will be driven by cellular technology, not 802.11x.

John Stoll
IT coordinator
Associated Tube Industries


Re: The bitter end of outsourcing (Sept. 25)

Your editorial overlooks comprehensive and objective data providing substantive evidence that outsourcing technology and business processes have indeed returned significant cost savings, productivity gains and strategic benefits.

A Sept. 2002 Gartner Dataquest research study on IT services outsourcing states that 54 per cent of the study’s 323 respondents said they expected their outsourcing initiatives to deliver a median cost reduction goal of 23.2 per cent. The respondents represented a broad range of North American companies from less than $1 million to greater than $1 billion in total revenue from multiple vertical market sectors. Their anticipated cost saving was calculated as a percentage of the companies’ total outsourcing costs.

Beyond this, however, your editorial correctly postulates that businesses should look to outsourcing as much for the value it brings to the company as for the cost savings it provides.

Business leaders and the market already know there are no magic IT bullets that can bestow enduring competitive or strategic advantage. Technologies change rapidly, the bar gets set higher for everyone, and what may have once seemed miraculous has become standard practice. That’s business.

But it’s up to IT providers to make themselves indispensable to their clients — not as functionaries who merely relieve companies of the grunt work — but as business partners who can shape technology to accommodate and help achieve their clients’ business goals. Building that kind of partnership is something EDS holds paramount in its dealings with customers.

James Toccacelli
Director of marketing
EDS Canada Inc.


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