community technology

Public interest victory on the Internet

February 22, 2021

Published in the N.B. Media Co-op, May 7, 2020

 The public interest won a major battle last week. A part of the Internet set aside to operate in the interests of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and non-profit organizations was about to be sold to a private equity firm. The last vestige of a dream of early adopters who wanted to preserve some non-commercial space on the Internet appeared to be headed into the sunset. It would have been a sad footnote in Internet history. So, what happened?

Communications infrastructure a key economic driver

February 10, 2014

 Alternative Federal Budget 2014. Communications Chapter.

 Excerpt only.  Click here for full version 

For full version  of AFB see:  Alternative Federal Budget 2014

According to statistics released in 2013 by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada needs to ramp up investment in this sector. Currently in 9th place with 72.2% of households connected to the Internet -- one up from the previous year, Canada is behind the leader South Korea (97.5%) and all 5 of the Scandinavian countries but still ahead of the U.K. (69.5%) and the U.S. (68.2%) However, in terms of actual speed of broadband connections and price of these connections, Canada is lagging much further behind – placing 19th among the same list of countries. Countries high on the list of speed and pricing are also rapidly increasing their adoption of fibre optic networks. Here again, Canada is falling steadily behind – at 0.6 fibre subscriptions per 100 inhabitants as compared to the U.K. with 1.7, Sweden with 10.9, and South Korea leading the way with 22.3 per 100 inhabitants. In order to participate fully in the Information Age, Canada needs to move beyond the current 20th century policy strategy towards communications infrastructure.  ..... more

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.

Community Access Program chopped

August 27, 2012

 This story originally appeared on  -- August 16, 2012

 The Community Access Program (CAP), was created by Industry Canada in 1995 to provide free or low-cost access to Internet in rural regions of Canada. CAP operated in over 3,000 sites across Canada, offering computer literacy trainings and Internet-user skills in public libraries and community centers. It has provided access to Internet for youth, seniors, members of low-income communities and residents of rural and remote regions.

What Happened

On April 5, 2012, Industry Canada sent a letter announcing that funding for the Community Access Program (CAP), amounting to about $15 million, was scheduled to end on March 31, 2012 and would not be renewed. Industry Canada stated that in the context of "challenging fiscal times," funding for CAP was terminated because the program had "successfully achieved its objective." However, the digital divide in Canada has been proven to persist and library associations and community centers that operated CAP have decried the funding cuts.

Communications Chapter - Alternative Federal Budget - 2012

March 28, 2012

The AFB 2012 allocates the following amounts for communications:

  • The AFB allocates $250,000 to fund a broad national consultation to modernize communications policy in Canada. 
  • The AFB ramps up to $1 billion annually over 10 years to modernize Canada’s digital communications infrastructure. 
  • The AFB allocates $40 million to support new and existing national public access sites in the 2012-2013 budget year.

Full communications chapter

Full AFB 2012

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.

Alternative Federal Budget 2011 - Communications (in brief)

March 16, 2011

Recognizing “effective” connectivity as an essential service
To return Canada to a leadership role in the availability and use of new communications technologies, “effective” broadband, supporting a wide range of communications applications, must become a vital part of federal policy and programs.

The AFB believes that access to 1.5 Mbps. broadband should became part of the "basic service" definition for telecommunications providers in Canada.

Developing a national broadband plan

Researchers and educators hold roundtable on the digital economy

June 18, 2010

A group of 30 researchers, students and professors met at the University of Toronto on June 14 to discuss the federal Digital Economy Consultation Paper and prepare a group response.   Participants felt that a face to face meeting where they could discuss their views and arrive at a consensus document was a time honoured way to participate in federal policy discussions that could not be replaced by individual on-line comments to a web-site.

CACTUS at CRTC -- April 26 -- CPAC link

April 26, 2010
CACTUS (Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations) presented its proposal for new community-run multimedia access production and distribution centres to the CRTC on Monday, April 26th, at 9 a.m.

Reception for MPs re: community television

March 30, 2010
04/14/2010 17:19

Telecommunities Canada representation at reception hosted by CACTUS to familiarize MPs with issues concerning community broadcasting and multi-media centers in communities.