1 January 1983 is considered to be the birth date of the internet and over the last 38 years, the use of this technology has gradually infiltrated and revolutionised our everyday lives.
Individuals and organisations all over the world are now more connected than ever. This technology is being used for information sharing, communication, and learning and the COVID-19 pandemic served to highlight even further its importance as a vital tool for working and education.
However, this has also placed a spotlight on those who still do not have access to a reliable and easily accessible internet connection and how this potentially leaves users at a digital disadvantage. We have all seen the recent BT advertising where the employee with the buffering connection is asked to ‘mute’ their intermittent audio interference. There is a growing demand for better access to a reliable and trusted service.
A Basic Human Right
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web says coronavirus has highlighted the importance of internet connectivity as a basic right for everyone. He is calling on governments to invest to provide universal broadband by 2030. He says that too many young people do not have internet access and therefore are being put at a disadvantage when it comes to online learning.
It has been realised that internet connectivity for home learning and remote working was an essential need for employees and pupils, to be able to have access to their education and workplace data wherever they are.
The belief is that all individuals should be able to have affordable, and impactful connectivity – both at work and at home.
In the Classroom
As teachers and pupils return to the classroom, it has been mandated that all schools should have the ability to provide remote learning so that if needs be, young people, can continue to learn from home as the pandemic continues or other issues arise that prevent them from attending school. This means being able to access and view what they need in order to maximise all learning opportunities.
The pandemic has also highlighted the large divide in young people having access to devices that can help them connect. As children already have the right to an education, it may be seen that if they lack a reliable internet connection at home, they are being hindered in their right to receive this teaching. Therefore, it should become a priority to ensure that all pupils have access to compatible internet accessing devices to reach their remote learning and enhance connectivity with teachers and peers.
In the Workplace
We have also understood the need for businesses to also have employees that can work from home with secure, reliable, and fast business broadband connectivity in order to perform their role to the best of their ability.
Employees have seen both the positives and negatives of working from home and the frustration of slow internet has inconvenienced many people.
There are a few ways to help avoid these slow connectivity issues and to minimise being the one in the group call that has a blurry video and robotic voice. Internet is an essential tool for communication, gathering information, and remaining connected with others wherever they are, therefore a necessity to today’s working environment.
Staying Safe Online
Sadly, using the internet can also mean increased exposure to fraud and security breaches as unscrupulous criminals hide behind a veil of anonymity to spread viruses and conduct financially motivated scams.
As technology is always advancing, so are the people who use the internet for the wrong reasons. However, there are many steps that can be taken by the user to ensure they are doing all they can to stay safe online.
Benefits of Internet Connectivity
Despite the concern of the misuse of the internet, it brings many benefits. It has opened up a world that we have never seen before. We have managed to do so much more within our lives and keep connected with the online world wherever we go.
It has helped to bridge the gaps in communication. There once was a time where you would have to wait until you next saw someone in person to ask questions but now a simple email or video call can give you instant access to answers – or you can simply Google the answer!
The internet has also allowed us to educate ourselves, due to all and any information being on hand at all times, we have been able to learn new things all the time simply by searching the internet for specialists with answers.
The UK Government is constantly evolving and rolling out plans for 5G and other connectivity investments, having access to the internet has never been such a huge prospect to all. This can then hopefully minimise this gap between the digitally disadvantaged.
The internet has also allowed free up physical storage space. Everything that once took up room on a piece of paper can now be electronically stored in the cloud. This has led to a huge reduction in the use of paper, therefore a reduced difference in the organisation’s costs and time. Online storage is also electronically managed to improve accessibility to all authorised users and enhance security.
It has also created the world of social media and enabled us to build relationships with people all over the world. We’re able to work, learn and share our life experiences on a global basis wherever there is an internet connection.
The internet – a basic right!
With so much of our daily lives now dependent on wireless connectivity, the internet really has become a basic right. Without it, pupils will be limited in their learning and knowledge businesses won’t be able to scale operations profitably.
To find out further how to get secure, fast, and reliable connectivity for your organisation please do get in touch.