‘Net Benefits’


Letter printed in the ‘Times & Star’ (30 Sept 2011) written by Mr Bill Barnes of Workington.

Councillor Andy Long is to be commended in his efforts to improve broadband services in Maryport and across Cumbria (letters September 16)

I cannot however share his optimism for some of the benefits which will accrue from better services.

I am thinking especially of doctors and consultants forming an accurate diagnosis of a patient’s condition by remote control, particularly when the symptoms indicate the need for a thorough medical examination. I have no idea what the terms ‘telemedicine’ and ‘telecare’ mean but I would like some enlightenment on these concepts.

Andy refers to ‘elderly, ill and disabled people’ finding their lives enhanced by the magic of the internet, but I think there will be several drawbacks to his assessment. They would need to buy a computer – quite a substantial outlay – have it connected to the net, and pay for the use of an internet service provider.

Then there is the time spent on acquiring the skills and confidence needed to operate an unfamiliar piece of electronic wizardry. If you are old or not in good health this can be a formidable problem.

I know that many of the older generation have become computer literate, but it requires a lot of practice and perseverance.

Perhaps I am being overly pessimistic but, whether or not, I would like to applaud Andy’s campaign and wish him a successful and rewarding outcome.

Bill Barnes


30th September 2011


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