Unconnected: Funding Shortfalls, Policy Imbalances and How They Are Contributing to Canada’s Digital Underdevelopment

In an effort to understand the challenges and opportunities facing civil society and community organizations working to improve the quality of Canada’s internet, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) commissioned research firm The Strategic Counsel to conduct a qualitative and quantitative assessment of stakeholder perceptions of the nation’s digital philanthropy landscape.
The research results show that digital development in Canada is underfunded, piecemeal, ad hoc and unorganized despite stakeholders sharing many of the same goals. The research results show that digital development in Canada is underfunded, piecemeal, ad hoc and unorganized despite stakeholders sharing many of the same goals – the connecting of Canadians to the internet in an affordable and reliable manner so that they can comfortably and knowledgeably participate in an increasingly digital economy and society. The research also found that these goals and the challenges surrounding them have only become more pressing with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a global crisis that has pushed nearly every aspect of our daily lives online.



Barriers to Digital Equality in Canada

Internet is an essential service. As technology increasingly shapes our world, it is important that Canadians can keep up with the rapid changes, latest skills and emerging industries. Unfortunately, not every resident of Canada is able to access these opportunities to unlock a potentially brighter future.

AIC and ACORN partnered to undertake research with low and moderate income Canadians, in order to uncover the barriers to digital equity that exist in Canada today and shine a light on the urgent need to tackle these barriers to ensure equal access to digital opportunities.



Overcoming Digital Divides Workshop Series: Framing Paper

Canada’s digital divide has often been narrowly defined as the gap that exists between urban and rural broadband internet availability — Canadian urban centres have significantly greater internet subscription levels at faster speeds than rural communities.(Government of Canada, 2019). The cost of building new internet infrastructure in less developed areas continues to impede equitable access to sufficient internet services.

This series aims to engage people living in Canada, industry, academia and policymakers to advance a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the circumstances that precipitate the conditions that shape digital inequities in Canada. Through expert panel discussions and thoughtful participatory dialogue, the series aims to drive toward innovative solutions to greater digital inclusion across Canada. The series will be presented in six parts, each tackling a specific theme with unique concerns. The series will also build on intersectional connections across themes while identifying new issues and impacted communities.