CIRA Commits One Million Dollars to Improving Canada’s Internet

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, the organization that manages the dot-ca domain, has unveiled an exciting new initiative that will deliver a million dollars toward community projects, research, and other related activities (full disclosure: I am a member of the CIRA board and chair of the committee that will review applications). The typical grant is expected to be worth $25,000 – $50,000, though grants can climb as high as $100,000. Funds are available for community groups, not-for-profit organizations, academic institutions, and associated researchers. The application period opened earlier this week and will run until February 28th. Application guidelines can be found here and the application form is here. This is a great initiative that holds the promise of injecting much needed support into Canadian Internet initiatives. Take a closer look and apply today!


  1. excuse me while I yawn
    gee, a whole million dollars? who’s heading that agency these days, Dr. Evil? Really, how much ‘improving’ of ‘Canada’ can you do on a budget of about $0.25/person? Pre-paid calling cards for every 1000 callers? Sorry to be so unenthusiastic, but I recently attended a meeting announcing a local initiative to supply only a few hundred high-speed points of entry for rural *Western* Ontario, which is hardly ‘Canada’ and even that modest proposal has a pricetag of $13M not including the costs to get people hooked to these few hundred network nodes!

    Really, honestly, *someone* has to do a whole lot better in this issue while we’ve still got a fighting chance to be part of the 21st Century. I realize we’re not the economic powerhouse of a Romania, our resources are no where near that of a Nigeria or even a Hongkong, we’re just a lowly NATO member who is begrudgingly the poor relation taking handouts at the G8, but c’mon, how long are we going to rest our economy on logging, cod and wheat?

  2. @mrG
    It beats a kick in the teeth. I’ll be curious to see the projects.

    If nothing else, someone could set up a non-profit Tor exit and seed a dedicated advocacy group, or set up public meshes ( ) between libraries and public places, or push for IPv6 deployment (even more public, Canadian tunnel brokers would be a start). IPv6 relieves many of the problems we are currently facing (low competition, censorship, surveillance, and decreasing net neutrality) by allowing end-to-end connectivity again. Once that’s possible, people will not need to rely on central “cloud” services as much, and software will be quick take advantage of it (why use Sky when you can place a direct call?).

    The folks might have a few ideas too.

    Maybe CIRA would consider supporting some of the free software groups and projects that represent many of the people who continue build the very software that’s carrying a lot of the Internet. The OpenBSD project, which is headquartered in Alberta, was recently looking for forms of support due to low funds. Anyone who uses OpenSSH (nearly all network administrators, and a huge number of savy computer users) should consider how they can show their support.

    Frankly, however, the best thing for the Internet (as important as IPv6) would be a decentralized technology to replace the (easily hijacked, and easily-used-for-DoS) Domain Name System (even “DNSSEC” is centrally controlled, facilitating surveillance), but that seems like an unlikely end for a registrar to fund.

  3. check your math says:

    How does $1 million work out to 25 cents per person? Off by an order of magnitude.

    CIRA would be advancing the Internet more if it lowered prices for registrations so that it doesn’t build up a surplus to flush with programs like this million dollar slush fund.

  4. CIRA shut my website down because of paperwork deadlines … good job!
    I will probably never register another .ca website. They require a personal ID to register an already existing .ca website. What’s worse, anyone could email fake credentials, so it’s a worthless process. No matter how much money they sink in, I know I don’t trust CIRA for a website domain.

  5. New immigrant’s view of the Canadian ISP market
    The main question is whether the public is ready for revolution in the Canadian ISP market?
    I am new to Canada (recent immigrant from Eastern Europe).
    Situation in the Canadian ISP and wireless telecoms markets was the biggest disappointment about Canada so far.
    The bad: Canada is currently definitely a 3rd world Internet access country (every recent immigrant would confirm that unless he/she comes from some rural province of a “real” 3rd world country).
    The good: There are so many things to do here. The market will skyrocket when the ice of bad regulation and oligopoly is melted under the public pressure.
    The question is are Canadians ready for this?
    >100 Mbps unlimited synchronous direct access for 30 dollars per month
    No DSL modem required
    No traffic shaping
    Static IP, ability to run servers (i.e. host sites on your home PC, seamlessly work from home through SSH, RDP, use multiple VoIP services…)
    This is what people from the developed world LONG used to…

    I am looking for recent market research papers, business plans, financial models, due diligence reports for Canadian ISP market.
    There are many people out there (in the rest of the world including some “real” 3rd world counties) ready to invest money into Canadian ISP market when the appropriate changes are made.

    Special thanks to the author of the blog – Michael Geist.
    This is the most relevant and open discussion of the Canadian telecoms and ISP markets I have found so far.

    Any links and references are welcome…