Currently, 87.4% of Canadians have access to an internet connection at the federal government’s basic service objective of 50/10 Mbps. But for those living in Alberta’s rural communities, only 37% of households have access to an internet connection at this speed.
This ongoing digital divide in Alberta has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In October 2020, a group of Albertans with an interest in rural broadband advocacy met to discuss the challenges and opportunities for rural communities struggling to access high-speed internet.
Those discussions were informed by a commitment to promote rural, remote, First Nations, and Metis communities broadband access in Alberta, and a consensus that not enough has been done at the government level to address this divide.
The Alberta Rural Connectivity Coalition (ARCC) was formed at that meeting to bring a unified voice to the internet access concerns of Albertans. The Alberta Rural Connectivity Coalition is advocating for robust funding and regulatory commitments from multiple levels of government to realize universal and affordable high-speed internet connectivity in Alberta.