Canada’s telecom watchdog has announced details regarding the implementation of its $750 million fund aimed at establishing broadband internet as a basic service.
According to a September 27th, 2018 media release, organizations looking to receive a portion of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) fund can begin submitting applications in 2019.
The CRTC’s latest decision outlined details regarding how the Commission will evaluate projects based on area served, the overall cost of the project, the total population of Canadians served, as well which organizations will be eligible for consideration.
Interesting to note is that the Commission will accept submissions from both for-profit and not-for-profit corporations, as well as public-sector bodies.
Also important to note is that the Commission’s criteria explicitly outlines that only projects that demonstrate a need for CRTC funding will be considered.
The Commission won’t begin evaluating and selecting projects until 2019. The CRTC explained that application details will be released at a later date.
“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,” said Ian Scott, chairperson and CEO of the CRTC, in the same September 27th media release.
“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.”
The CRTC formally ruled that broadband internet is a basic service in Canada in December 2016.
Helmed at the time by Jean-Pierre Blais, the CRTC also said that it would invest $750 million over five years in order to successfully provide internet as a basic service, like electricity or water.