Internet & Future Connectivity: Bridging the Digital Divide

Access to high-speed broadband is essential as part of the basic infrastructure that supports everything we do. Similar to roads, bridges, and electricity, it is core infrastructure in the 21st century that will provide the foundation for economic diversification, world-class education, and strong public health services across the province.

We need a competent provincial government that is willing to listen to and partner with local communities, aggressively secure federal funds, and take meaningful action now. To provide reliable and cost-effective broadband speeds across Alberta, we also need solutions that take factors like sparse population, tricky geography, existing networks, different market players, and multiple technologies into account.

As a province, we are challenged by a lack of coordination. Absent provincial leadership, communities have been left on their own to hire consultants, while attempting to nudge and cajole ISPs to introduce or improve local service. The lack of coordination results in missed opportunities, with better and cheaper solutions being left on the table. Most Alberta municipalities are not internet service providers, nor do they have the resources or expertise to bring broadband access to their communities in a way that is financially accessible. Yet, these municipalities are acting because the province is not, and it is their only option.

Solving the problem of connecting all Albertans will require provincial leadership. Our strategy is designed to overcome the challenges we know exist, and get the job done.

"Access to high-speed internet is critical for building strong, sustainable rural communities. The digital divide between urban and rural is hurting our province. It hurts rural families who want their kids to have a better future. It hurts rural entrepreneurs who want to expand their businesses. We cannot sustain two Albertas. We cannot allow the digital divide to grow into a digital canyon." - Rachel Notley

Our Proposals 

By achieving universal broadband access, Albertans can fully realize the benefits and take advantage
of the opportunity that it offers. Given the importance and the opportunity it presents, we must achieve universal access as quickly as possible and in a way that provides good value for Albertans.

  1. Declare Broadband Access Essential 
  2. Achieve Universal Broadband Access within One Mandate, No Later than 2027 
  3. Creation of Digital Innovation Alberta 
  4. Broadband Advisory Group 
  5. Regional Approach
  6. Building Broadband Faster in the Alberta Act 
  7. Digital Innovation Alberta Action Plan - Regional Approach 
  8. Digital Innovation Alberta Action Plan - Funding the Building Out of Broadband
  9. Satellite Solution Tax Credit
  10. Federal Advocacy - Use It or Lose It 
  11. We Are Technology Agnostic

Please read our full report for rationale of each proposal and background information on how we can close the digital gap by 2027

"This proposal focuses on how we can achieve universal broadband access in one electoral mandate, by 2027. While these ideas are the result of consultation with Albertans, we will continue to engage and look for opportunities for improvement to ensure that we put forward the most effective plan that works for Albertans" - Jon Carson, Service Alberta Critic


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