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The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 51: Canada’s Urban-Rural Broadband Divide – Josh Tabish on CIRA’s Internet Performance Data

The state of Internet access in Canada has been the subject of considerable debate in recent years as consumers and businesses alike assess whether Canada has kept pace with the need for universal access to fast, affordable broadband. What is now beyond debate is that there are still hundreds of thousands of Canadians without access to broadband services from local providers and that for those that have access, actual speeds may be lower than advertised and below the targets set by the CRTC, Canada’s broadcast and telecommunications regulator.

CIRA, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, manages the dot-ca domain and has played an increasingly important role on Internet policy matters. CIRA recently submitted a report on the urban-rural broadband divide as part of a CRTC process on potential barriers to broadband in underserved areas. Josh Tabish from CIRA joins me this week on the podcast to discuss the IPT, the CRTC submission, and the future of universal access to broadband in Canada.

The podcast can be downloaded here and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod.

Show Notes:

CIRA, New Internet Performance Data Shows the Staggering Scale of Canada’s Urban-Rural Digital Divide


Global TV, Rural Communities Could Suffer from Broadband Internet Service Cuts


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  2. Rural high speed internet in Canada seems to be very spotty, even in those areas that, according to the CRTC, are covered. In the area I live in West of Ottawa between Carleton Place and Smith’s Falls the only access is wireless through a couple of companies, and the terrain impacts the service availability. Apparently Bell has no intention to add their Fibe service in my area (I was told this by a Bell service rep the last time I lost landline telephone service due to the rain shorting out lines).

    The COVID-19 pandemic has made this more problematic as the levels of Government have moved more services online primarily… To access them I need to find a cafe with a still active wifi to access. Typically this means travelling 20 – 30 km and accessing while sitting in my car.

  3. Great podcast, thank you!

  4. Great podcast, thank you!