The Internet has revolutionized how Canadians go about their daily lives. From accessing essential services to conducting business activities, the internet has proved to be an extremely valuable resource for people to improve the quality of their lives in many ways. As digital technology becomes more and more advanced, opportunities for Canadians in all aspects of life can be expected to increase exponentially. However, for every Canadian to thoroughly enjoy the benefits of internet technology, it is critical that issues relating to quality internet service delivery are addressed. As such, the future of the internet in Canada will primarily focus on building knowledge and innovation infrastructures that provide the best solutions to the needs of users as well as those that allow cheaper and unfettered access to internet resources for all Canadians.
In the future, internet technology is expected to be accessed by everyone their location notwithstanding. The advent of the internet has provided new tools for designing solutions for various societal needs. Already, 100 percent of urban and at least 83 percent of rural premises have access to internet connectivity (Rajabiun & Middleton, 2013). However, Rajabiun and Middleton (2013) note that a majority of the current connectivity does not enable many Canadians to deploy advanced applications such as cloud computing and the country lags behind among OECD countries regarding deployment of high-speed networks. Given the highlighted gap, provision of high-speed internet to Canadians will be a top priority for the players in the industry. CANARIE, in close collaboration with regulatory bodies such as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), seek to lay the framework for all Canadians but also at a speed that enables deployment of complex applications such as cloud and artificial intelligence computing. With the digital economy growing by the day, deployment and use of high-download speed networks in all parts of the country with a view of meeting the demands of advanced applications are expected to dominate the Canadian cyberspace in the future. This is likely to create unlimited opportunities both in personal and commercial applications for Canadians.
Despite the ubiquity of the internet in the Canadian society, some citizens do not have or have limited access to internet services. For instance, where one lives in Canada determines their access to broadband. People who live in northern areas of the country are likely to fall under this category (Alexander, Adamson, Daborn, Houston, & Tootoo, 2009) though the federal government has made significant efforts to address the broadband needs of underserviced communities in the country over the last decade. However, a universal characteristic of internet users all over Canada and the world is cost. Affordable cost and access to adequate bandwidth are critical issues that affect many Canadians coercing internet use. For these reasons, and owing to the efforts made by the government, CANARIE and high-tech companies, internet access will be highly accessible, and connectivity is likely to be automatic and permanent. As declared in the Digital Canada 150 Strategy in 2014, affordable and unrestricted access to the internet by all Canadians is a principal priority for the federal government (The Canadian Press, 2014). Canadians may no longer need to dial up or enter a Wi-Fi password to access internet-there will be wholesale connectivity. As a result, all Canadians will be given unfettered access to this resource irrespective of their location, income, or other factors that contribute to discriminatory access and distribution of internet.
Artificial intelligence will play a significant role in the future life of Canadians. In particular, the IoT will create new applications on the cyberspace. The IoT allows ordinary devices such as appliances, cookers, and doors to be linked with other devices through the internet. For instance, a wireless doorbell connected to the internet through certain programs such that the program sends an email or text messages to the owner of the house informing them that someone is standing at the door (Frydenberg, 2017). The actualization of the highlighted example demonstrates how the door, the doorbell, the mobile phone, and the internet (otherwise known as things) work together to provide solutions. Although the idea of industry 4.0 is a new technology emerging around the world, Canada will not be an exception to embracing the advanced computing technology. Thus, it can be expected that the future of the internet in Canada will entail laying out the IT infrastructure necessary for the full operation of smart devices.
In conclusion, the future of the internet in Canada is likely to focus on the accessibility and affordability of broadband services among Canadians. It is evident that both the government and high-tech firms will shift their attention to wholesale access to internet products/solutions. Upgrading of the bandwidth to ensure high-speed processing of data is also another development that is expected feature prominently feature in the context of Canada's future internet world. Canadians can further expect Internet of Things to be an essential driver of computing as big data takes root in the computing world.
Alexander, C. J., Adamson, A., Daborn, G., Houston, J., & Tootoo, V. (2009). Inuit cyberspace: The struggle for access for Inuit Qaujimajatuq. Journal of Canadian Studies, 43(2), 220-249.
The Canadian Press. (2014, April 5). Digital Canada 150 plan targets privacy issues, rural Internet connectivity. The Toronto Star [Toronto].
Frydenberg, M. (2017). Ding dong, you've got mail! A lab activity for teaching the internet of things. Information Systems Education Journal, 15(2), 12-17.
Rajabiun, R., & Middleton, C. A. (2013). Multilevel governance and broadband infrastructure development: Evidence from Canada. SSRN Electronic Journal, 37(2013), 702-714.
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