Report: Understanding Community Broadband: The Alberta Broadband Toolkit

For individuals or groups working in the areas of community, rural and remote broadband and community informatics or working with communities on broadband related matters, a community broadband guide has recently been developed for use in communities across Alberta, though much of the information may be relevant in other jurisdictions.

Understanding Community Broadband: The Alberta Broadband Toolkit has been designed for use by Alberta communities to assist in developing broadband solutions. The toolkit is organized into three general sections – learning about broadband, thinking about broadband, and planning broadband. Together these sections aim to identify the key knowledge and actionable steps that a community and its leaders can use to develop and achieve local broadband solutions. The Toolkit is specifically written for a general audience so that community leaders and local broadband champions can become informed on basic broadband information and develop a knowledge base to both engage the public on broadband and deal with consultants.

The toolkit provides an overview broadband technologies, models of broadband ownership, importance of community engagement and best practices in local broadband planning. The toolkit also contains case examples of broadband solutions from communities across the province. The Toolkit was made possible by funding from the Government of Alberta – Economic Development and Trade.

Understanding Community Broadband was developed in response to discussions at several Digital Future symposia held by the Van Horne Institute, with the aim of enabling communities to further local discussions about connectivity. The toolkit was also informed by a series of eight consultative workshops held in partnership between the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the research team at the University of Alberta.

This Open Access Toolkit is housed at the Education & Research Archive at the University of Alberta and can be found here: Text is licensed under a Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution License (CC-BY-4.0).

The guide was developed by Dr. Michael McNally, Dr. Rob McMahon, Dr. Dinesh Rathi, Hanne Pearce,  Jennifer Evaniew, and Chardelle Prevatt at the University of Alberta.

Further questions or comments about the toolkit can be directed to: