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UCalgary prof Gregory Taylor advises summit on social implications of communications policy
It’s a bleak statistic. While 97 per cent of households in Canada’s largest cities enjoy high-speed internet, that number falls to 37 per cent in rural areas, and just 24 per cent in Indigenous communities.
“Current spectrum management policies are contributing to Canada’s deep digital divide,” write western Canadian Indigenous leaders James Hobart and Cindy Woodhouse in Policy Options. “This lack of connectivity exacerbates socio-economic inequities, including business opportunities, employment, education, and physical and mental health.”
While the tide is slowly turning, the gap remains troubling for a key group of Indigenous leaders, digital network operators, and policymakers. The group, the Indigenous Connectivity Summit, met recently in Winnipeg to identify actions to narrow the gap, improving access to fast, affordable internet in often remote First Nations communities.
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