Digital Equity is the ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies. Digital inclusion encompasses not only access to the Internet but also the availability of hardware and software; relevant content and services; and training for the digital literacy skills required for effective use of information and communication technologies. (source)
with high speed
without high speed
According to CRTC numbers from 2017, only 37 per cent of rural households in Canada had access to 50/10 Mbps, compared with 97 per cent of urban homes. (Source: CRTC)
As of 2018, 83.4% of Ontario households in the lowest income quartile had internet access at home, compared to 94.5% for all Ontario households. (Source: Canadian Internet Use Survey)
Rural Canadian internet speeds are on average ten times slower than urban speeds. COVID has widened that divide. In April 2020, rural speeds were 12 times slower. (Source: CIRA)
Digital Equity Ottawa is a new, collaborative initiative that is aiming to improve digital equity in 4 key areas.
Increase access to appropriate hardware and technical support to residents in need.
Expand access to the internet and broadband infrastructure for those facing barriers, including low income and rural residents.
Train residents in digital skills to increase access to services, equity in accessing virtual learning for high school graduation, employability and more.
Increase the capacity of the non-profit sector to provide services digitally including for residents with low technical capacity.
Here are three reports we produced in collaboration with National Capital Freenet
in 2021 to explore digital equity challenges and opportunities, during the pandemic and beyond: