The Cancellation of the Community Access Program and the Digital Divide(s) in Canada: Lessons Learned and Future Prospects
The Government of Canada's recent termination of its Community Access Program eliminated a major source of funding for organizations that connect disadvantaged individuals and communities to the Internet. Nevertheless, inequalities in Internet access and usage continue to exist. In the absence of a coordinated national policy to address digital divides, responsibility for providing Internet access to low-income Canadians devolves primarily onto large civic and regional libraries. This devolution works to the particular disadvantage of remote and rural areas, which tend to have neither an affordable supplier of residential broadband nor the economic base to support library systems large enough to provide community access sites. For communities in this situation, the First Mile paradigm offers some hope. In the broader context, future Internet connectivity initiatives in Canada should look beyond simply providing "access," and link the individual's effective use of information and communication technologies to the well-being of the community in which the individual is situated.
All material submitted to the Journal of Community Informatics is protected by and subject to the Creative Commons Public License "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International". Subject to the following conditions, all material submitted to the Journal of Community Informatics may be freely copied, distributed, or displayed, or modified:
- Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor.
- Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
- Share Alike. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.
See the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License for complete details.