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Next-Generation Connectivity is Key to a Digital-First Post COVID Canada: ICTC Paper

By 4 November 2020 No Comments

A new ICTC report, The Rebuild: Going Digital and the Role of Canadian Telecom in a Post-COVID Future, considers the essential role of universal and high-quality telecommunications services, including 5G, in supporting the next generation of technologies for a competitive and resilient Canadian economy.

COVID-19 ushered in a new remote-work reality and a fundamental shift in consumer behaviour that depends on reliable connectivity and effective data transmission. ICTC research finds that employment in the digital economy remains at pre-pandemic levels, and the current digital landscape continues to be resilient in the face of this pandemic.

This paper examines the following:

  • The current state of telecom services in Canada, data consumption trends compared to OECD peer nations, internet penetration across Canada and between provinces, and the changes in internet usage during the COVID-19 crisis
  • The potential technological needs and opportunities in post-COVID Canada underpinned by telecommunications infrastructure, the connectivity services needed, including 5G to support digital health solutions, autonomous vehicles and drones, and lights-out manufacturing in a fully connected future
  • The future of work for Canadians and the need for equitable and affordable internet across the country.

“Telecommunication systems are the backbone of any high-performing economy like Canada, the accelerated wave of digital adoption and consumer shift to online platforms have heighten the significance and need for reliable and affordable connectivity. We are on the cusp of a new era of global competitiveness that requires broader digital adoption while engaging all the creative capital in Canada in the coming years,” said Namir Anani, ICTC President & CEO.

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with an expansive network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policy makers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 25 years.

For Interviews with an ICTC subject experts and other media inquiries, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.

A copy of the study can be accessed here.