Community Technology

A National Communications Strategy is an Economic Building Block

June 4, 2013

Alternative Federal Budget Communicaions Chapter 2013

Summary only.  Click here for full version of Communications chapter   

For full version  of AFB see:  Alternative Federal Budget 2013 p.48

 Canada continues to fall behind peer nations in the strategic area of information and communications policy and infrastructure. A recent report from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Measuring the Information Society 2012 ranked Canada 32nd out of 155 countries according to their level of ICT access, use and skills. In the top five countries were Korea, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. According to the ITU, all top-30 countries are "high-income countries, underlying the strong link between income and ICT progress."  It is becoming increasingly clear that a national communications strategy is an essential part of long term economic planning.

Digital literacy documentary -- available on-line

September 14, 2011
Through stories from nine community access (C@P) sites in the Halifax region, this documentary explores digital divides and the value and ever-changing potential of community access to the Internet and information technology.

Filmed on location in Nova Scotia in Halifax, Moser River, Terence Bay, Sheet Harbour, Jeddore, Tantallon, and Lake Echo.

Community access sites score high in digital economy consultation

July 14, 2010

Industry Canada's on-line digital economy strategy closed today with community access sites receiving a strong endorsement from the public both in the "ideas" forum and in the more formal submissions.

 Under "digital skills", 2 of the top 3 entries, were recommendations to support and extend this initiative.  Another was submitted to the "innovation" section. Links to CAP supporting submissions are provided below:

Globe and Mail picks up rural "overbuild" story

June 10, 2010

"It shouldn't have happened that way. And if it has, I'd like to know about it. That's not good. I was briefed that we had mapped the whole country" said Industry Minister Tony Clement when asked about the concerns of rural ISPs that federal infrastructure money could result in overbuilding in their areas.

Rural and remote ISPs compromised by federal infrastructure grants

June 7, 2010

A number of ISPs in rural and remote areas were taken by surprise when the federal government announced the winners of the first round of infrastructure spending for rural and remote broadband.  Apparently a large proportion of the funding is earmarked to overbuild existing, self-sustaining broadband networks.

Since the market in these areas is very limited, this jeopardizes the sustainability of existing local ISPs.  There are several examples of this problem in B.C., in northern Manitoba and in northern Ontario.

Op-ed: Community Access One Pillar of a Digital Economy

April 6, 2010

Community access one pillar of a digital economy

By Marita Moll

On March 16, after three days of intense public pressure following a decision to cut funding to most of Canada’s community access sites (CAP), Industry Minister Tony Clement declared it all a misunderstanding.  The program was reinstated.  It wasn’t quite as dramatic as the backlash over the proposed changes to the wording of the national anthem, but it was a cliff hanger for the thousands of people who use these sites daily for everything from engaging in independent studies, connecting to government programs,  or setting up small businesses to market local products. 

Support for CAP sites reinstated

March 16, 2010

In an astonishingly fast about turn, the federal government has rescinded the letters it sent out to community access sites informing them that they would no longer be funded unless they were more than 25 km from a public library. 

Industry Minister Tony Clement said it had been a funding envelope error.  The sites will  to be funded through the Rural Broadband Strategy program "while the Community Access Program is wound down."  It's a mixed message, for sure.