Industry Canada
Canada Heading Full Speed into the 21st Century

Canada is a global leader in information technology. That technology is driving a new economy based on the trading, purchase, and creation ofknowledge. Industry Canada's Spectrum Information Technology and Telecommunications (SITT) Sector plays a key role in keeping Canada at the leading edge of new information technologies, which in turn will allow Canadians to take full advantage of the knowledge-based economy of tomorrow.

SITT's mandate is ' to foster the development and use of information and communications technologies and infrastructure in Canada for the economic and social benefit of all Canadians. It does this in three ways: by setting telecommunications and information policy; by developing the regulations, standards and licensing practices that foster an open and competitive marketplace; and by promoting investment, trade, and market development in telecommunications. The goal is to ensure that Canada - and the Canadian information technology and telecommunications industry - is wellpositioned in the global knowledge-based economy.

Up and Running On...

The Information Highway, including its most visible component, the Internet, provides social and business communications to and from virtually any place on the planet. The explosive growth of the Internet has lead to increased demand for bandwidth. Graphics, sound and video require advanced, high capacity, fully interoperable telecommunications networks. SITT monitors ongoing Research and Development (R&D) to ensure that Canadians continue to enjoy a superior telecommunication infrastructure capable of carrying information-based services to Canadians in all parts of the country. SITT also monitors developments in such areas as privacy censorship, cryptography, electronic commerce and affordable access to the Information Highway.

SITT works with the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) to develop the regulatory framework that will allow competition, convergence and the introduction of new services such as Personal Communications Services (PCS) and Local Multipoint Communication Services (LMCS). Another partnership, with CANARIE (the Canadian Network for the Advancement of Research, Industry and Education), stimulates the development of new networking technologies, products, applications, software and services. CANARIE facilitates Canada's transition to a knowledge-based society by linking sophisticated users on a high speed test network that connects universities, companies and research hospitals across the country.

SITT also works with other organizations, such as the National Research Council and the Communications Research Centre (CRC) to advance Canadian technology. The CRC is fully funded by the federal government through Industry Canada. Its 200 full-time researchers work on telecommunications R&D projects ranging from broadband Internet to defense communications, from advanced fiber-optic technologies to highdefinition television. The research scientists at the CRC are among the best in the world. They have a reputation for technical excellence among their peers, and have been awarded many Canadian and internation patents.

Access Canada:

Canadians have always enjoyed easy access to basic services. Ninety-nine percent of all Canadian households have at least one telephone, and eighty percent have access to cable television. But new technologies and services mean that new ways have to be found to ensure that all Canadians benefit from the opportunities offered by the Information Highway. Innovative programs developed by SITT are helping more Canadians get on-line, while at the same time increasing Canadian content on the Internet.

One of those program is CAP, the Community Access Program. CAP is designed to help Canadians in smaller communities familiarize themselves with the concepts and potential of the global Internet, and to begin to learn the skills required to compete in an information-based economy. By 1998, new users in up to 1500 rural and remote areas will be able to access the Internet, and to begin to learn the skills required to compete in an information-based economy. By the year 2001, 5000 rural and remote communities will be hooked up, making Canada a world leader in Information Highway connectivity.

The Information Highway has created an enormous potential for economic growth and job creation, and there are a number of ways in which SITT is helping Canadians benefit from that opportunity. SITT programs support the federal Youth Employment Strategy, enabling youth across the country to gain work experience and skills in information technology. Other initiatives help a number of small- and mediumsized businesses (SMEs) establish a presence on the Information Highway, offering their products and services to a global marketplace. In fact, content development is a driving force in the expansion of the Information Highway. Many SITT programs support the development of content-based industries, including multimedia and entertainment production, the digitization of Canadian content for the Web, and the burgeoning market for "new media" products and services. SITT is responsible for reviewing and developing adaptive technology for disabled persons, and supports the electronic delivery of government services. SITT actively promotes the use of electronic commerce; in 1998, electronic commerce will be the preferred means for the government to conduct business.

As we move further onto the Information Highway, Canada's prosperity will be tied to our ability to make use of the latest information and communications technologies, and to work in an economy based on knowledge. Canada's continued leadership in the development of information technology means that all Canadians will be able to benefit from the opportunities of the Information Age.