Canada Spurs Rural Broadband Expansion With $560 Million Fund

Canada Spurs Rural Broadband Expansion With $560 Million Fund

Foto: Fotolia

Canada’s communications regulator announced a C$750 million fund that companies can tap to subsidize high-speed internet projects in rural parts of the country, according to Bloomberg. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said broadband internet should be seen as a “basic” service across the country. The C$750 million will be distributed over five years and doled out based on applications from telecommunications carriers.

Most Canadians live in cities like Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal, and enjoy high-speed internet access and strong cellular networks. Still, many who live in rural parts of the country struggle to stay connected to the modern world with slow dial-up internet or spotty satellite services. Telecom providers have largely avoided those areas, arguing that the cost of building infrastructure to serve so few customers is uneconomical.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made expanding access to digital services a key part of his plan to shift Canada’s economic focus to value-added services. A spokesman for BCE said the company was reviewing the plan. A spokesman for Telus didn’t immediately return a request for comment. “While there are still many details to be worked out, we are encouraged by this reasonable plan to help increase access to Canadians in hard-to-reach areas of our country,” David Watt, Rogers’ head of government relations, said in an e-mail.

CRTC Chair Jean-Pierre Blais has made several major pro-consumer rulings over the last few years, including banning three-year cell-phone contracts and forcing TV providers to sell channels individually rather than in bundles. “Access to broadband internet service is vital and a basic telecommunication service all Canadians are entitled to receive,” Blais said in a statement. “High-quality and reliable digital connectivity is essential for the quality of life of Canadians and Canada’s economic prosperity.”

More from category

Big turmoil in H1 Telekom – shareholders' fight and possible takeover of Optima Telekom

Big turmoil in H1 Telekom – shareholders' fight and possible takeover of Optima Telekom

20 Jan 2017 comment

H1 Telekom Shareholders' Assembly, which should take place next Wednesday, January 25, is the decisive factor for the reshuffling and the future of that alternative telecom operator. Namely, the word on the telecom market is, confirmed for ICTbusiness.info by several completely independent sources, that the bankruptcy of H1 Telekom could happen on the very next day.

Turkey’s First Ever Test of 5G Technologies Achieved Speeds of 24.7 Gbps

Turkey’s First Ever Test of 5G Technologies Achieved Speeds of 24.7 Gbps

19 Jan 2017 comment

While continuing its efforts to develop next generation communications technologies, Turkcell has once again proved its pioneering status by completing Turkey’s first ever 5G test. Carried out in cooperation with Ericsson, the trial reached speeds of 24.7 Gbps on the 15GHz band and represented one of the first 5G tests in the world.

AT&T CEO Did Not Discuss Time Warner Merger With Trump

AT&T CEO Did Not Discuss Time Warner Merger With Trump

15 Jan 2017 comment

AT&T said their CEO Randall Stephenson’s meeting with President-elect Donald Trump touched on job creation, investment and competition, but the elephant in the room, merger with Time Warner, didn’t come up, according to Bloomberg.