Support for CAP sites reinstated
In an astonishingly fast about turn, the federal government has rescinded the letters it sent out to community access sites informing them that they would no longer be funded unless they were more than 25 km from a public library.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.
The CAP community is relieved, but knows this is only a reprieve. Until the government recognizes that this is not a "rural access" issue but an economic development issue, a social development issue and a digitial divide issue, constant vigilence will be required to keep these centers open.
According to the governments press release, the funding will continue until "rural households are provided with internet access." Many centers in urban areas are wondering why a government struggling to develop a "digital economy strategy seems determined not to recognize their value.