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CIRA launches new Net Good program, including over $1 million in grant funding for community internet projects

By Shehnila Sayeed
Communications Specialist

Ottawa, ON – March 2, 2023 – Today, CIRA is thrilled to launch Net Good, a new program that will invest millions of dollars each year to bridge the digital divide and address some of Canada’s pressing internet challenges. With Canadians relying on the internet more than ever to fully participate in today’s society, some Canadians, particularly those living in Indigenous, rural and remote communities—still struggle to access high-quality internet services and participate in Canada’s digital economy.

Net Good by CIRA encompasses all the initiatives funded and led by CIRA that tackle the digital obstacles faced by communities across the country. CIRA’s grant program, also launching today, is central to how the program gives back to Canada’s internet. Made possible by proceeds from .CA domain registrations and CIRA’s cybersecurity services , Net Good by CIRA focuses on community investment in three key areas—infrastructure, online safety and policy engagement—and is core to CIRA’s mission to build a trusted internet for Canadians.

Key facts:

  • Net Good by CIRA invests in solutions that make the internet more accessible, resilient and high performing including its Internet Performance Test and initiatives that support in-Canada network peering.

  • By building, supporting and funding solutions to help protect Canadians against cyber threats, including its flagship Canadian Shield, Net Good by CIRA helps build trust online.

  • Net Good supports policies that promote a trusted internet in Canada and beyond through partnership convenings like the Canadian Internet Governance Forum.

  • As part of Net Good, CIRA provides grant funding for community-led internet projects that address internet challenges at the local level. To date, CIRA has funded over $10 million to more than 200 projects across the country, and is renewing its commitment to community internet projects with today’s launch.

Net Good by CIRA 

Executive Quote

“The last few years have emphasized the central role the internet plays in all our lives, while highlighting ongoing gaps that risk leaving some behind. As one of the few non-governmental leaders embarking on this work to improve digital equity, CIRA helps communities across Canada to tackle their digital issues. As an evolution of our mission, we’re excited to launch Net Good by CIRA to champion communities, projects and policies that make the internet better for Canadians.” – Tanya O’Callaghan, Vice President, Community Investment, Policy and Advocacy

Applications for CIRA Grants opens today

Today’s launch of Net Good coincides with the announcement of CIRA’s latest call for applications to fund community-led internet projects in Canada. As part of Net Good by CIRA, CIRA Grants offer Canadians a unique opportunity to get funding support for projects that help solve skills and connectivity gaps at the local level all across Canada. Grants are available up to $100,000 with a focus on projects that benefit rural, Northern and Indigenous communities, and students (K-12 and post-secondary).

For the last ten years, CIRA has awarded $10 million in grants to over 200  not-for-profits, Indigenous communities, registered charities, and researchers for their internet-related projects. Learn more about how to apply for a CIRA grant by visiting Interested applicants can also join CIRA’s applicant webinar in English on March 7th at 1 p.m. ET or in French on March 9th at 1 p.m. ET.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Registered charities
  • Not-for-profit organizations:
  • Indigenous communities; and,
  • Academics and researchers affiliated with a Canadian university or college.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications in advance of the deadline on April 12, at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT.

About CIRA

CIRA is the national not-for-profit best known for managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. The organization also offers enterprise-quality registry, DNS, and cybersecurity services to organizations across Canada and around the world. As a member-based, mission-driven not-for-profit, CIRA also has a much broader goal to promote a trusted internet for Canadians.

About Net Good by CIRA and CIRA Grants

Based on the premise that the internet is a net positive for the world, CIRA proudly funds Net Good by CIRA from the revenue CIRA generates through .CA domains and cybersecurity services. CIRA Grants is one of CIRA’s most valuable contributions to this program with over $10 million funded to date, to hundreds of community-led internet projects across Canada that address infrastructure, online safety and policy engagement needs.