Communities, Planning and Policy

Beyond Infrastructure: Strategies to support adoption and realize benefits of broadband in rural Canada

In December 2016, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission declared that fixed and mobile wireless broadband access was a basic service, "vital to Canada's economic, social, democratic, and cultural fabric." Canada has made significant progress in expanding broadband infrastructure, but many rural areas across the country continue to face unaffordable services, limited bandwidth capacity, and a lack of digital literacy training and technical support.

This synthesis project will address the lack of comprehensive reviews of rural broadband adoption strategies. To do so, researchers will conduct a knowledge synthesis of existing literature and organizing programs and interventions, based on their contributions to the seven community capitals: financial, political, social, human, cultural, natural and built.

The research team will provide sustainable recommendations to academic, government and resident audiences, and will publish its findings in an investment guidebook for rural community decision-makers.

In September 2017 the research team presented their findings at the Canadian Rural Revitalization conference Different by Design. The complete report from this project is part of the ACSRC Report Series.

This project resulted in the creation of a Rural Broadband Portal.  The Portal was developed by the ACSRC and contains over 500 literature sources regarding research and solutions for broadband development.  The functionality of the portal allows the user to quickly find resources relevant to the their situation. 

The Broadband Portal was launched in August of 2019.

This project is funded by the Government of Canada Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Knowledge Synthesis Grant Program.