$750-million fund to improve broadband Internet access services in underserved areas
OTTAWA and GATINEAU, QC, Sept. 27, 2018 /CNW/ – The CRTC today announced the criteria that will be used to evaluate applications for funding from its Broadband Fund. Details were also announced regarding the fund’s governance, operating and accountability frameworks.
The Broadband Fund will provide $750 million over the first five years to support projects to build or upgrade infrastructure to provide fixed and mobile wireless broadband Internet service to underserved Canadians. The Broadband Fund is designed to complement existing and future private investments and public funding.
The Broadband Fund will help close the gap in connectivity between rural and urban areas. The CRTC set a target that Canadians should have access to speeds of at least 50 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads, as well as access to mobile wireless services including on major transportation roads.
In 2019, the CRTC will begin the competitive process to evaluate and select projects.
“Canadians living in rural and other underserved areas need high-quality broadband Internet and mobile wireless service to fully participate in the digital economy and to access health care, education, government and public safety services. Today’s decision marks a key milestone in setting up the Broadband Fund, which will facilitate access to these services to thousands of Canadians across the country. “
Ian Scott, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the CRTC
- The CRTC is responsible for selecting and monitoring projects to be funded.
- Resources for applicants will be made available in the coming months, including an application guide, application forms and maps.
- Applicants can apply to the CRTC for funding starting in 2019. Details will be outlined in a future announcement.
- The CRTC will be using a competitive process to evaluate and select high-quality projects and to award funds to successful applicants.
- In 2016, the CRTC declared that broadband Internet access and mobile wireless service are basic telecommunications services that should be available to all Canadians.
- The CRTC is committed to working together with all levels of government. The CRTC recognizes the need for a collective effort to achieve the goal of providing fixed and mobile wireless broadband Internet service to underserved Canadians.
Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2018 – 377 – Development of the Commission’s broadband funding regime
CRTC establishes fund to attain new high-speed Internet targets
Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2016-496 – Modern telecommunications services – The path forward for Canada’s digital economy
Closing the Broadband Gap
SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission