On Wednesday, December, 21st 2016, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), declared that broadband Internet is a basic telecommunication service, and handed down a ruling that ordered the country’s internet service providers (ISPs) to begin working towards being able to provide and boost services in rural and isolated areas, which Jean-Pierre Blais, the CRTC chair, has previously called it “vital” and essential to life and success.
With the ruling, the CRTC has set new targets for the service providers, in order offer customers in all parts of the Nation, download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 10Mbps, and an option for unlimited data.
The CRTC currently estimates that two million or close to 18% of Canadian households, do not have access to the above speeds or data. The goal is to reduce these numbers by two-hundred thousand over the next 5 years, and hopefully be able to further reduce the amount to 0 within the next 15 years. The CRTC will require ISPs to pay into a fund that will hopefully grow to $750 million, within the next 5 years. Which will be used to implement infrastructure to achieve these higher speed services.
With the announcement made last week, regarding the Connect to Innovate program by the federal government, the CRTC mentioned that the two programs can work together so companies can “dip into” both funds, even though they are separate.