Advocacy

New report takes a comprehensive look at Alberta’s internet gaps and opportunities

After a year of researching, Cybera (Alberta’s not-for-profit technology accelerator) has unveiled a comprehensive update to its State of Alberta Digital Infrastructure Report. This timely analysis comes as internet connectivity and access to high-speed broadband have taken on heightened levels of importance in the province, due to COVID-19. The updated report, first published in 2014, …

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Federal committee suggests new ways to improve telecoms competition (and offers slight rebuke of CRTC)

On June 22, 2021, the federal Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology released its study Affordability and Accessibility of Telecommunications Services in Canada: Encouraging Competition to (Finally) Bridge the Digital Divide. The study offered recommendations for improving competition in Canada’s telecommunications industry, and also provided a rebuke for recent CRTC decisions that have caused …

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How CRTC flip-flop on wholesale internet will hurt consumers

Last week, in a move that has already negatively impacted consumer internet costs in Canada, the CRTC reversed it’s 2019 decision to lower the rates charged by large ISPs to wholesale service providers for access to their networks. Wholesale internet providers, such as TekSavvy and Distributel, will now have to pay the higher, pre-2019 rates …

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Cybera’s take on Canada signing the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement

On May 3, 2021, Cybera submitted its response to Global Affairs Canada’s consultation on Canada’s possible accession to the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA).  The Digital Economy Partnership Agreement is a new international trade policy instrument that aims to address the transborder governance of a number of emerging digital economy issues. Initiated by Chile, New …

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Federal Budget 2021 invests in research, connectivity and data governance

On April 19, the federal government tabled its 2021 budget: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth and Resilience. The first federal budget tabled since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it contained a number of economic measures to address Canada’s path to recovery over the next year and onwards, including expansions to the federal wage …

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Canada’s new privacy bill – what it means for Canadians

This past Tuesday, November 17, the federal government announced it was tabling Bill C-11, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA). This bill represents a significant shift in privacy legislation in Canada. It follows a period of public consultations initiated by Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), including last year’s calls for comments on the modernization …

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Cybera’s response to CRTC investigation on disaggregated wholesale access

On June 11, 2020, the CRTC issued a Call for comments – Appropriate network configuration for disaggregated wholesale high-speed access services. Their goal was to address a number of outstanding issues related to the Commission’s earlier decision (2015-326) to move Canada’s wholesale high speed access regime from a disaggregated to an aggregated model.  Under the previous, …

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Canada’s Throne Speech made big internet promises. Now for the delivery.

Last week’s Speech from the Throne included many ambitious promises for supporting Canadians as they transition through COVID-19 and adapt to the needs of a 21st Century digital economy. From Cybera’s perspective, one of the more interesting goals mentioned in the speech related to improving connectivity in the country: “The Government will accelerate the connectivity timelines and …

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How federal decisions on wholesale rates impacts internet prices for all Canadians

On August 15, 2020, the federal government issued a controversial statement regarding an ongoing disagreement between incumbent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and wholesale internet providers over the wholesale rates set by the CRTC. In its statement, the government seemingly supported an argument advanced by Canada’s big three telecoms providers. They claimed that current regulations requiring …

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Federal Government’s hesitation to support fair wholesale rates could make internet less affordable for Canadians

This past Saturday, August 15, federal minister Navdeep Bains issued a statement expressing concern about the CRTC’s August 2019 decision to cut wholesale internet rates. He stated that “these [reduced] rates may undermine investment in high-quality networks, particularly in rural and remote areas.“ The CRTC is responsible for setting the rates that incumbent network operators …

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The ties that bind Alberta’s tech administrators

Between May 2019 and February 2020, Cybera held a series of half-day round table sessions in Red Deer, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Edmonton and Calgary. Our goal was to review the digital resources currently being used by Alberta’s public and education sectors to create efficiencies and improve computational literacy. We also wanted to identify existing gaps. …

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Updating our review of Alberta’s connectivity crisis

In April, Cybera’s policy team created a white paper to highlight and address the internet crisis in Alberta. As COVID-19 continues to impact schools and businesses in the province, this problem of access and connectivity has not gone away. In the original white paper, we provided suggestions for how the provincial government and large ISPs can work …

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It’s time to get Canada connected

Cybera has joined a cross-Canada coalition of organizations and businesses who are pushing for widespread internet access to be made a priority by government and telcos. Even before the social distancing policies that have come into force to fight COVID-19, people have become increasingly reliant on the Internet to access work, education, training, government services …

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Cybera’s response to CRTC consultation on barriers to deploying broadband

Last week, Cybera submitted a response to the CRTC’s Notice of Consultation 2019-406: Call for comments regarding potential barriers to the deployment of broadband-capable networks in underserved areas in Canada. In 2018, the CRTC finalized the Broadband Fund, a $750 Million investment over five years to fund broadband-capable networks across Canada. Its intention is to: “Fund projects …

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New white paper addresses the connectivity crisis in Alberta

The current COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the connectivity issues faced by rural Albertans. There is an opportunity for the provincial government, and large internet service providers (ISPs), to work together to fix this problem, now. Our policy team has developed a white paper highlighting the current need in the province, and proposing actionable next steps …

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Research proves the connectivity barriers faced by Indigenous communities are very real, and very limiting

The ConnectIN project was a two-year pilot project evaluating the internet connectivity in First Nations communities in BC, Alberta and Manitoba. Led by three First Nations’ regional technology organizations, and facilitated by Cybera, the goal of this project was to better assess gaps in infrastructure and services. ConnectIN wrapped up in February 2020. In this post, we …

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