There are at least half a dozen government programs to fund rural expansion of broadband and wireless services in Canada. The Canadian government's Connect to Innovate and the CRTC's Broadband Fund program are two of the largest programs used to fund such expansions.
The Connect to Innovate program aims to provide all Canadians, regardless of where they live, with high-speed Internet to connect with family, work from home, attend school and access essential medical services. The Government wants 98% of Canadians to have access to high-speed Internet by 2026 and all Canadians by 2030. This means high-speed Internet of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 10 Mbps upload speeds. The program has committed $585 million to improve connectivity in over 975 rural and remote communities, including 190 Indigenous communities, by 2023.
The CRTC’s Broadband Fund is designed to help ensure all Canadians have access to broadband Internet and advanced (LTE) mobile wireless services. Within the first five years of this CRTC operation, the Broadband Fund will award up to $750 million to projects that help achieve this goal. The Broadband Fund policy and its criteria are detailed in Telecom Regulatory Policy 2018-377. The CRTC periodically issues a call for applications that address the service gaps in Canada. The funding comes directly from contributions made by large Canadian telecommunications service providers whose total annual Canadian revenues amount to at least $10 million.
Do you have government-funded broadband or wireless expansion project underway and need help meeting the projects’ third-party verification requirements? If so, give us a call.