The Cancellation of the Community Access Program and the Digital Divide(s) in Canada: Lessons Learned and Future Prospects

  • Chris Blanton University of British Columbia
Keywords: Access, Social Cohesion,

Abstract

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.

 

Author Biography

Chris Blanton, University of British Columbia
School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, Second-year MLIS student
Published
2013-12-22
How to Cite
Blanton, C. (2013). The Cancellation of the Community Access Program and the Digital Divide(s) in Canada: Lessons Learned and Future Prospects. The Journal of Community Informatics, 10(2). Retrieved from http://www.ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/1014