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.
Join the Alberta Rural Connectivity Coalition
The Alberta Rural Connectivity Coalition advocates for universal access to high-speed internet at an affordable price for all Albertans, including those living in rural, remote, First Nations and Metis Settlements communities. The coalition is pushing for multiple levels of government to immediately take steps to provide funding — and other forms of regulatory relief — for telecommunications infrastructure in Alberta’s rural communities. These actions should be made a priority for areas in the province that are suffering from a lack of access to modern, high-speed internet access.
We welcome public groups, not-for-profits, academics and individuals to join the Alberta Rural Connectivity Coalition. By becoming a signatory to the Alberta Rural Connectivity Coalition’, coalition members support the following statement:
“Access to a high-speed internet connection at affordable rates is a basic right for all Albertans. All levels of government must take immediate steps to ensure that those Albertans without access to a high-speed internet connection, including those in rural, remote, First Nations communities and Metis Settlements, are connected to a modern internet connection at an affordable rate.”
- Michael B. McNally, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta
- Barb Carra, President and CEO, Cybera Inc.
- Dr. Rob McMahon, Associate Professor, Media & Technology Studies Unit and the Department of Political Science, University of Alberta
- Edward Lipin, Director of Technology, Medicine Hat Public School District
- Cole Nelson, Rocky View County, Business Development Manager
- Ross Plattel, Remote Technology, University of Calgary
- Ula Shirt, Communications Specialist, Piikani Youth & Education Foundation
- Jodi Arrowsmith, Network Analyst, Northern Lights Library
- Deborah Juch, Director of Community Services, City of Lacombe
- Lea Beeken, Manager, Edmonton Public Schools
- John Andersen, Marketing & Economic Development, Town of Mayerthorpe