The government of Canada has allocated in its 2019 budgetan amount of $ 1.7 billion Canadian Dollars to be invested over 13 years in High-speed Internet provide all Canadians access to high-speed internet. The goal is to ensure that the bandwidth gap between rural and urban communities is completely bridged by the year 2030.
The allocation in the 2019 Budget which was announced on 19 March will enhance the Connect to Innovate programme, which was launched in 2016 to enhance broadband in remote areas of Canada. The budget is proposing a new and coordinated plan that will see further investments within a period of 10 years by which time the minimum speeds of 50/10 Mbps will be achieved for all citizens irrespective of where they live in Canada.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.
Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).