Global Perspectives on Programmatic Solutions to Bridging the Digital Divide

Event Date and Time


Organizer Contact Information

Meghan Wrathall


The provincial and federal governments have made efforts to ensure equitable access to broadband technology and services for all Canadians. From 2011 to 2015, the CRTC’s Broadband Expansion Fund allocated funds upwards of $350 million dollars to broadband expansion (CRTC, 2009). In 2005, the Government of Alberta had invested $193 million into the Alberta SuperNet, a large-scale broadband network (Cybera, 2016). More recently, the governmentfunded, non-profit organization Cybera has connected educational institutions and businesses across the province to encourage innovative research and development.

Our project asks: What programs and initiatives exist that effectively support broadband adoption in rural communities? The current literature suggests broadband availability does not necessarily guarantee adoption or measurable benefits (Whitacre, Gallardo, & Strover, 2014). While the literature is diverse, the common assumption is that different models of cost sharing or incentivization will correlate with increased uptake.

This literature review cross references sources based on the determinants of broadband adoption that it addresses and the way in which it addresses them (interventions). This approach is valuable because it systematically sorts the literature in a way that makes specific policy suggestions easily found – simply cross reference the intervention used with the determinant (e.g. literature focusing on public-private partnerships in rural areas is found by cross referencing public-private partnerships and rural areas).


Madison Pearson, is a third year student at the University of Alberta's Augustana campus and a research assistant at the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities.




April Heinrich, third year at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, has been a research assistant for the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ACSRC) since July 2017.




Tuesday, April 24, 2018 @ 11:00am CST
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Questions: Meghan Wrathall, 819-345-3777