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Canadian regulator announce huge funding package in order to improve digital connectivity

Chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecomunications Commission, Jean-Pierre Blais (Andre Forget/Postmedia Network)

Canada’s leading telecommunications operator has announced details of a significant funding package aimed at providing high-speed internet access to all, declaring it a vital service that all Canadians are entitled to receive.

The public announcement was made by The Canadian Radio-Television Commission (CRTC) who disclosed that a new $750 million fund has been created in order to provide the infrastructure which would reach speeds of at least 50Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload.

Canada’s telecommunications regulator revealed that its vision and desire is to provide high-speed internet access to all – including residents in rural and remote parts of the country, which is the world’s second-largest nation by land mass, insisting that it is an essential service.

Chairman of the CRTC, Jean-Pierre Blais stated that digital connectivity was vital for economic prosperity, and absolutely critical in improving the quality of life enjoyed by Canadians.

He said: “Access to broadband internet service is vital and a basic telecommunications service all Canadians are entitled to receive. High quality and reliable digital connectivity is essential for the quality of life of Canadians and Canada’s economic prosperity.”

The vast majority of Canada’s 12 million homes – and over one million businesses already have broadband access to the internet.

However, Blais concluded by saying: “Around 18% are underserved by dial-up or another low-speed access, which ultimately hinders their ability to participate in the digital economy.”  In addition to this, the CRTC ordered telecoms to provide them with their investment plans within the next six months to help meet the objective proposed.

High-speed internet access is increasingly needed to access services such as health care, education, and banking, as well as shopping, entertainment, and social networking. The CRTC set out in its decision that 90 percent of Canadian homes and businesses must have access to high speed internet by the end of 2021 and the remaining 10 percent within 10-15 years.