Attention City Council: can we please research this project for Burlington?
Guest Post by Oakville trustee Don Vrooman: The future is now.
With data plans out of reach for many families in a Bell/Rogers world, here’s a way to level the playing field at a municipal level. Imagine a student (or anyone) walking up to a “phone booth” and making a video call. The only thing we really have to imagine in 21st century Halton is the phone booth. One of today’s growing sources of inequity in education is the expectation that every student has internet service at home. This is certainly not the case if their family is living in subsidized housing where internet access is still considered a luxury. All HDSB schools have Wi-Fi, but our buildings aren’t routinely open when students are doing their homework. Public libraries have free Wi-Fi, too, but packing up younger siblings and riding the bus to the local branch is not an easy task. Libraries are busy places, and sometimes it’s tough to get the needed screen time.
The Integrated Service Delivery Symposium found many talking about getting school boards, municipalities, regions, the province, the feds and NGOs working together in our buildings. This kind of dream is almost impossible for a school board to do alone. It’s tough when the only way a municipality can preserve green space and buildings in mature communities is to buy them at market value from the local school board. Tough when the only way a school board can qualify for funding of new schools is to close schools in mature neighbourhoods. David Crombie kicked off the symposium with an inspiring keynote. If you missed it, don’t worry, without provincial support for infrastructure partnerships we’ll be able to hear it again in ten years. Read more about Integrated Services Delivery at http://cafehub.squarespace.com/
Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for proposals to morph the phone booths into Wi-Fi hot spots and would blanket the five boroughs with free access, ramping up a pilot program begun by his predecessor. If successful, the effort could be a blueprint for other cities