Connectivity and Partnerships
The Government of Canada believes as more businesses and government services move online, it is imperative that the majority of Canada's Aboriginal communities have access to reliable high-speed internet. The federal government views broadband as a critical tool for Aboriginal people as broadband infrastructure can improve health and safety, increase social well-being and provide economic development opportunities and growth for Aboriginal communities.
For Aboriginal learners, having access to the world-wide web will help them reach their full academic potential and acquire the knowledge and skills required to compete in today's labour market.
By bridging the digital divide, it will allow Aboriginal communities to fully participate in e-services delivery in the following fields:
- E-water remote monitoring systems
- E-Banking, etc.
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is committed to working closely with various federal departments, including Industry Canada's Broadband Canada, along with provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal and corporate leaders to ensure that Aboriginal people are included into rural broadband infrastructure networks and obtain equitable and comparable broadband access as compared to those in non-Aboriginal rural communities.
What information is available?
In September 2009, INAC launched the First Nations Infrastructure Fund (FNIF) which included last mile connectivity as an eligible funding investments to ensure that rural broadband infrastructure developments included Aboriginal communities in large-scale development projects. INAC's Community Infrastructure Branch (CIB), working in conjunction with each region, delivers both FNIF and the Capital Facilities & Maintenance Program.
Mapping Initiative Goals
INAC is mapping the progress by visually highlighting to government officials, Aboriginal organizations and private sector representatives the results of current investments so that stakeholders understand 'at a glance' which communities are connected.
Connectivity for Aboriginal and Northern Communities in Canada
INAC has used the Industry Canada standard of connectivity, which is defined as access to 1.5mbps/ household. However, many common applications (such as video-conferencing) require higher levels of bandwidth to be used. Additionally, some technologies such as satellite may satisfy the 1.5mbps/ household standard, but are known to have latency issues in their service delivery, also making the use of some applications difficult. As such, our legend for the data map distinguishes between four categories of connectivity levels. These categories include: Industrial/Institutional (typically fibre), Consumer Terrestrial, Consumer Satellite and Low Speed. You can view our data methodology for further information about INAC's connectivity categories.