Broadband Economic Impacts
The ‘digital divide’, a discrepancy in information and communications technology (ICT) use and capability between urban and rural areas, has been a challenge for both communities and governments across Canada. To assist in bridging the ‘digital divide’, various government programs have been established, such as Broadband for Rural and Northern Development (BRAND), Community Access Programs (CAP), and Smart Communities Programs. The Broadband Economic Impacts project’s goal was to assess the benefits of Broadband connectivity in two rural communities in Canada. Specifically, the project aimed to identify and quantify the impacts of broadband connectivity on the local economy through jobs, revenues and cost reductions.
This study, conducted in Churchill, Manitoba and Parrsboro, Nova Scotia from June – August 2005, provides information on the economic impacts of Broadband access and usage. The information was gathered primarily from telephone surveys followed up by a second set of detailed key-informant interviews. A workshop was held in Parrsboro to gain greater understanding into the community and business impacts of acquiring broadband access. Remoteness and cost prevented a similar workshop in from occurring in Churchill.