Making Connections in the Digital Society
Governments around the world are committed to using the Internet and other communications technologies to develop digital societies in which citizens engage with one another, their communities, businesses and governments. These efforts are geared at better health care, more efficient transport solutions, cleaner environments, new media opportunities, and easier access to public services and cultural content.
However, there are significant gaps between vision and reality, even in such advanced economies as Canada.
Dr. Catherine Middleton, Canada Research Chair in Communication Technologies in the Information Society, aims to understand and narrow these gaps to benefit citizens and organizations. She is looking at access to technology, including broadband and mobile phones, and delving into Internet usage patterns to understand who is using these technologies and how.
Middleton is increasing understanding of how the way networks are built and the business models used to operate them can advance or hinder the goals envisioned for a digital society. She is doing so through access to high-level policy-making forums in Canada, Australia, Europe and elsewhere, and interaction with developers of broadband networks. She is also working to analyze Statistics Canada’s Internet usage data to improve its value.
Middleton’s work to advise parliamentarians, government organizations, industry, media, academics and public policy-makers in Canada and abroad is essential for the development of informed policy-making on digital strategies.