COVID-19 is highlighting Canada’s digital divide. What can we do about it?

How the pandemic is bringing digital rights into sharper focus

Why It Matters

With prohibitive prices and huge gaps in access to the internet, COVID-19 is bringing Canada’s digital divide into sharper focus. The social impact sector is finding it difficult to help the most vulnerable — especially considering that only 34 percent of rural households and 24 percent of Indigenous communities have access to high speed internet.

As the COVID-19 crisis shifts our lives online, many Canadians still take for granted their internet connection and the access that comes with it: the opportunity to speak with family members and friends, take meetings with colleagues, or even just find up to date information on the crisis.

Canada’s digital divide is making it increasingly difficult for marginalized populations to stay connected during the COVID-19 crisis, and therefore for the social impact sector to support them. Many rural, remote, and Indigenous communities in Canada struggle to access a good connection, largely due to the challenges of building digital infrastructure for communities with small customer bases. Meanwhile, Canada’s

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