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Cutting down fuel costs with high speed broadband Internet



Use internet to pay bills

The raging petroleum prices have caused havoc in the world recently. The drastic price hike of fuel charges has nearly toppled developing economies while shattering the economies of developed countries.

In this regard Sri Lanka is highly affected by continued increase in fuel prices. Growing demand for fuel led us with no option other than importing more fuel to fulfill this need.

Fuel saving

The interesting thing is, while other countries consume fuel, we waste considerable amount of fuel on the road, each year for nothing. This is mainly the traffic congestion on our roads which is caused by numerous factors. More precisely poor driving habits and un-streamlined road network with improper traffic systems are the culpable factors.

The reality is we cannot go on like this forever. We must take appropriate action to arrest this situation by finding optimal solutions to the problem. Saving fuel is what we should do first, while finding a long lasting solution for the future.

Whatever the method we use to save fuel it should be a practical one with minimum pressure on public and it should not be a burden on the community.

However, when it comes to fuel saving, information technology will be a smart option. To be precise, it’s the high speed broadband Internet that could be used to cut down fuel costs almost by half.

Though it’s pretty late for amplification of such a system in the country, at least if we act now, we would be able to save considerable amount of foreign currency that we pay for petroleum in the future.

If we acted swiftly in the past we should be having such well developed telecommunication environment in the country by now. Therefore, we are now paying for our own negligence.

Broadband Internet is the high speed Internet delivery system which could be used to transport large amount of data between computers. Despite its high-tech superiority, it is a very cost effective method of data delivering in the world.

Therefore other countries in the world have swiftly migrated to broadband platforms to avoid such crisis. The respective Governments have put many services on the Internet by enabling citizens to access them remotely by not visiting the Government offices.

Even people would now have the opportunity to do their jobs by staying at home under this method. The method is called ‘Tele working’ or ‘tele commuting’.

Tele commuting

Effectively tele commuting could cut down or reduce the public commuting by more than 50 per cent in a well develop environment. People don’t have to travel to banks and offices to access those services, they have the privilege of doing accessing these services and completing the required tasks over the Internet with greater speed.

Moreover, the quality and the reliability of these applications are high and flexible. People could save precious time spent in an office environment and have the opportunity of obtaining correct information instantly.

Today, one has to travel to Colombo or has to travel to the nearest Government office to access services. Sometimes the distance could be few miles to many miles from ones home town and could take considerable time to travel.

Air pollution

If he or she travelled by his or her own vehicle, his or her act would contribute to congestion, burning fuel and increasing the air pollution. The first two will be the most concerning factors here. Actually that commuting would cause fuel to burn in two ways. Directly burning fuel in one’s own vehicle and indirectly burning others’ by creating additional congestion on the road.

It may seem insignificant if we took one individual, but it would be huge if we considered all the individuals in a town or a country. Having this in mind our task is to find a solution to fuel crisis with the help of Information technology. The challenge we have is huge.

But it could overcome that easily, if we used the correct strategy by carefully studying the situation. Initially, the Government could host its citizen services on the Internet by taking the leadership through examples.

License renewals, tax submissions, issuing applications and forms, information services are the few things that Government could introduce online.

Attracting

The primary area of public services has to be addressed first. This method is capable of attracting public to use more and more online services in the future. For instance, utility bill payments; water, electricity and telephone should go online.

Similarly public must be provided with the facility of acquiring new services online. For example, a person who is applying for new water service to his premises must be given the opportunity to submit his application over the Internet without having to attend the appropriate office in person. Incentives and discounts could be provided to customers to encourage them to use Internet for similar transactions.

As many services come online, people would realise it is convenient to do their tasks over the Internet than doing them in other ways. Due to quick responsive nature of the online services it would become more popular than the authentic methods. This will encourage the public to use the Internet to access services than ever before.

As more and more people rely on Internet based services, point to pint travelling could be reduced or cut down completely. If public commuting could be reduced it would decrease the fuel consumption significantly.

Traffic congestion is the killing factor of our economy. In a single day, thousands of vehicles burn many thousand of fuel litres in a single day. Large quantity of fuel vaporizes in to air for nothing.

A successful e-government system could cut down motor traffic by over 50 per cent. The rest regarded as an essential commuting services including public transport. Still this mandatory traffic wastes about 20 per cent fuel due to un-planned traffic systems in the country.

Monitor traffic

Absence of real time traffic monitoring network has caused traffic piling, specially during busy hours in Colombo and its suburbs.

Country’s traffic signalling system still depends on pre-programmed signalling lights and manual controlled systems by the Police department. Real time intelligent monitoring system is what we need right now to streamline the flow of motor traffic.

Cost effectively this could be done with the aid of high speed broadband network by connecting all the police stations in the country. Similarly, a centralised point could be setup to monitor traffic on the roads in real time to increase its efficiency.

Online

The next challenge is to provide the public a suitable medium to access such services online. The fast and cheap would be the right solution. Surely it’s the broadband services that we have being using for the past five years.

All citizens must have the opportunity to access the Internet at an affordable price, irrespective of their social levels. Importantly broadband service must be capable of delivering data at real high speed. Slow speed Internet could jeopardise efficiency of the application causing churn among users.

This situation would have negative impact and eventually it would discourage and to keep away people from using the Internet. The access medium has to be fast enough to complete one’s task over the Internet while easy on their pockets.

Therefore, it is very important to address the matters in this sector as we introduce cutting edge technologies to serve citizens online.

This country needs an aggressive shift towards the information technology to serve our nation and also to enhance the living standards.

Let us unleash the powers of high speed broadband Internet by timely using it against rising fuel crises.

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