Connecting Canadians

Connecting Canadians represents the work of the Community Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking (CRACIN), the largest national and international research effort to examine the burgeoning field of community informatics, a cross-disciplinary approach to the mobilization of information and communications technologies (ICT) for community change.

Funded for four years by the SSHRC's Initiative for the New Economy, CRACIN systematically studied a wide variety of Canadian community ICT initiatives, bringing perspectives from sociology, computer science, critical theory, women's studies, library and information sciences, and management studies to bear on networking technologies. A comprehensive thematic account of this in-depth research, Connecting Canadians will be an essential resource for NGOs, governments, the private sector, and multilateral agencies across the globe.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Cover 1
Contents 6
List of Illustrations 10
Acknowledgements 12
1 Connecting Canadians?: Community Informatics Perspectives on Community Networking Initiatives 16
PART I: Context 46
2 Toward a Conceptual Framework for a Community Informatics 48
3 Keeping in Touch: A Snapshot of Canadian Community Networks and Their Users — Report on the CRACIN Survey of Community Network Users 74
4 Canadian and US Broadband Policies 103
PART II: Conceptual Frameworks 116
5 Information Technology as Political Catalyst From: Technological Innovation to the Promotion of Social Change 118
6 “The Researcher Is a Girl”: Tales of Bringing Feminist Labour Perspectives into Community Informatics Practice and Evaluation 130
7 What Are Community Networks an Example Of?: A Response 146
PART III: Community Innovation I: Participation and Inclusion 154
8 Systems Development in a Community-Based Organization: Lessons from the St. Christopher House Community Learning Network 156
9 Vancouver Community Network as a Site of Digital and Social Inclusion 175
PART IV: Community Innovation II: Wireless Networking 194
10 Community and Municipal Wi-Fi Initiatives in Canada: Evolutions in Community Participation 196
11 Wi-Fi Publics: Defining Community and Technology at Montréal’s Île Sans Fil 215
12 Wireless Broadband from Individual Backhaul to Community Service: Co-operative Provision and Related Models of Local Signal Access 231
PART V: Rural and Remote Broadband 248
13 “We Were on the Outside Looking In”: — A First Nations Online Social Environment in Northern Ontario 250
14 A Historical Account of the Kuh-ke-nah Network: Broadband Deployment in a Remote Canadian Aboriginal Telecommunications Context 268
15 Atlantic Canadian Community Informatics: The Case of the WVDA and SmartLabrador 296
16 Reverse English: Strategies of the Keewatin Career Development Corporation in Discourse Surrounding the Knowledge-Based Economy and Society 319
PART VI: Libraries and Community Networks 352
17 Community Networks and Local Libraries: Strengthening Ties with Communities 354
18 The Library Ideal and the Community Network: Prospects for New Technologies in the Public Library 380
PART VII: Public Policy 404
19 Community Networking Experiences with Government Funding Programs Service: Delivery Model or Sustainable Social Innovation? 406
20 Communautique: Action and Advocacy for Universal Digital Access 431
21 There and Back to the Future Again: Community Networks and Telecom Policy Reform in Canada, 1995–2010 452
Appendix A: Community Partners and Case Study Sites 486
Appendix B: A Brief History of the Community Access Program: From Community Economic Development to Social Cohesion to Digital Divide 498
Appendix C: The Federal Connecting Canadians Initiative, 1995–2007: A Brief Overview 504
A 510
B 510
Glossary 510
C 510
D 511
G 512
H 512
I 512
E 512
F 512
S 513
P 513
N 513
M 513
L 513
K 513
T 514
W 514
Z 514
Publication Credits 515
List of Contributors 516