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Canada Computer Overview

More Canadians are browsing, interacting, learning, and buying over the Internet every year, according to the annual Connectedness Index from The Conference Board of Canada. A country that relies on IT as an enabler certainly must be prepared to overcome IT problems in the country. This page will discuss these ICT initiatives and methods to overcome obstacles by presenting alternative ways to conduct commerce. 
Canada is a global leader in the use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) – second only to the U.S. Four sectors in particular benefit from Canada’s strength in connectedness – health, education and learning, business, and government. 

"Canada is clearly connected, for example, we ranked first in the index for on-line banking, government on-line services, and broadband penetration, " said Brian Guthrie, Director, Innovation and Knowledge Management at the Conference Board. "Each year Canadians are becoming more comfortable with computers, the Internet, and their applications, but we shouldn’t be complacent. Other countries are making connectedness a priority and are progressing quickly." 

People are turning to the Internet for health information and access to health experts—this is one of the most common on-line activities. Meanwhile, 32 per cent of Canadian households use the Internet from home for formal education and learning. Businesses use ICTs to become more productive – taking advantage of technology’s ability to lower transaction costs and increase customer interaction – and the effect has been extraordinary. Statistical data shows that e-business activity is steadily increasing over time. 

The report points to three key opportunities for improvement – broadband services, content, and wireless. Focusing on these areas will offer Canada the most opportunity to strengthen its position as a leader in connectedness, and improve its overall socio-economic performance. Broadband – high-speed connections – allows for new applications involving video, sound, and large data files. 

Content will become key if the Internet becomes the dominant communications medium – Canadian content will have to compete with foreign content, presenting opportunities and risks. 

Improving our wireless performance can boost our overall connectedness by serving areas where it is too expensive to lay wire, cable, or fiber. It also creates opportunities for new products and services – such as permitting an employee in the field to obtain information right away from wherever the job may take them, or a wireless pacemaker that can continually monitor a patient’s vital statistics. 

The Conference Board’s Connectedness Index is the third in an annual series that compares Canada with nine other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations – the other G7 countries, plus Australia, Finland, and Sweden – on the availability and use of ICTs. 

Ability to Connect
Ottawa, Canada, November 5, 2001 – IP Unwired Inc., an advanced wireless and networking technology company, today announced the filing of a patent for a technology which will allow much more efficient use of wireless and satellite channels for networking than previously possible. Peter Jones, Director of Research and Development announced in Ottawa today that IP Unwired has filed a patent for a technology that will optimize the transport of information over wireless links. Dr. Jones said “On conventional wireless systems, the standard TCP/IP protocol used for services such as web-browsing or email suffers greatly in terms of performance because it was not designed for wireless use. Modifying or doing away with TCP/IP is not an option because of the huge installed base of existing PCs. Instead our technology will transparently optimize data flow across the wireless link, while at the same time allowing PCs at either end to use standard TCP/IP without modification.”

Wired Networks

Utility line runs into your building. Requires special modem connected to your computer. 
Wired fiber-optic cable network 
Simultaneous cable TV and high speed Internet 
Requires cable modem 
High speed Internet and TV packages 
About $40/mo 

Wired DSL (digital subscriber line) telephone network 
Simultaneous telephone and High speed Internet service 
Requires DSL modem 
Distance from distributor must be within about 2 miles 
About $50/mo 

Fixed Wireless Networks

Fixed (ISP) transmitting towers are used to transfer data to/from customer. Requires outside antenna and wiring to electronic equipment attached to your computer. Fixed Wireless network using line-of-sight antennas, 2 Mb/s shared service or web form. $50, waived if you installed service or if you are not line-of-sight from the tower (Rideau satellite office, Roger Stevens Drive). 
Installation fee $400 or quote plus $40/mo residential 
Equipment purchase or rental $10/mo 
Required: Electrical power, NIC (network card) 

Satellite Wireless Networks

Wireless Internet satellite-based shared service 'always on' 
Download 400 Kbpsto 1Mbps (10X dialup) - 1.5 Mbps peak 
Upload 56-128 Kbps 
Equipment $899, Installation $400 (one-time) or $37/month (both) 
$99/month (introductory offer $59 first 3 mo.) 
Available almost anywhere in Canada 

INetVU Wireless Internet satellite-based service 
400 Kbps, 128 Kbps upload (send mail, FTP) 
Combines Start Choice TV and high speed Internet 
5303 Bank St 822-0177 1600 Merivale 
Satellite dish and additional equipment for your TV and computer 
$850 - $3000 depending on location 

Digital TV and high speed Internet to companies (i.e. Bell ExpressVu) 
Satellite Anik F2 launch scheduled for end of 2002 
2 mbps (standard satellite speed is 400 kbps) will be weather proof 
Launching two new satellites will service all of Canada. 

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