New report takes a comprehensive look at Alberta’s internet gaps and opportunities

A clear road on a bright sunny day

After a year of researching, Cybera (Alberta’s not-for-profit technology accelerator) has unveiled a comprehensive update to its State of Alberta Digital Infrastructure Report. This timely analysis comes as internet connectivity and access to high-speed broadband have taken on heightened levels of importance in the province, due to COVID-19.

The updated report, first published in 2014, provides an incredibly detailed review of Alberta’s digital capabilities. This includes an overview of networking policies, regulations, and fibre projects in the province, as well as new advancements in wireline, wireless and terrestrial technologies. 

While multiple levels of government have acknowledged and responded to Canada’s connectivity crisis over the course of the pandemic, the Digital Infrastructure Report shows that significant issues still persist, with existing programs and providers continuing to leave rural, remote and First Nations communities behind. 

The key issues and opportunities for Alberta identified in the report include: 

  1. Gaps in broadband speed mapping (which are used by federal regulators to determine who should get infrastructure funding).
  2. The emergence of community broadband networks. 
  3. Changes to the Alberta 2018 SuperNet contract, including new requirements for supporting rural connectivity.
  4. Emerging technologies, such as 5G, Internet of Things, and Low Earth Orbit satellites. 

After researching the current landscape, as well as larger national and international trends, Cybera has also offered a number of short- and long-term recommendations to the governments of Alberta and Canada for improving internet access.

By Cybera / July 22, 2021