The digital divide refers to the inequity in internet access between some communities, mainly rural, remote and on-reserve, and other communities, mainly urban and off-reserve, that prevents socioeconomic party between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and excludes many Indigenous peoples from the digital economy.
Network BC estimates that only 25% of Indigenous communities in BC meet the current broadband definition of 50 mbps download speed and 10 mbps upload speed. This lack of basic service, recently deemed a human right by the United Nations, is a key barrier preventing Indigenous peoples from accessing training and employment opportunities.
This reality was emphatically confirmed through regional engagement sessions that our team across all eight economic zones of BC. Indigenous roundtable participants consistently expressed a lack of reliable and affordable internet as being a barrier to economic development, training opportunities and efficiency and effectiveness of various governance initiatives.
We are working collaboratively with provincial and federal agencies, telecom companies, as well as partner Indigenous organizations to eliminate the digital divide and create equitable, affordable and sustainable access to digital and connected technologies for all 203 Indigenous communities in BC.
For more information on connectivity funding programs currently available, see the following links: