The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has announced five projects that will receive up to $26.7 million through the Broadband Fund.
Through the projects, over 550km of fibre transport network will be built in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Ontario. The CRTC outlines that this will benefit 41 communities, three of which are Indigenous communities.
Once the projects are completed, they are expected to provide improved connectivity to more than 8,000 households and up to 26 institutions such as schools, libraries and medical facilities.
As part of this round of funding, Shaw Communications will be receiving $13.8 million, BH Telecom Corporation is receiving $9.5 million and Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation will be getting $3.1 million. Further, Tough Country Communications is receiving $55,000 and Rogers is getting $131,000.
The CRTC outlines that the carriers will have to provide wholesale access to their infrastructure to companies looking to offer retail internet services to foster competition.
“Today’s announcement is encouraging news and, along with other sources of funding recently announced, more Canadians across the country will be able to participate in the digital economy,” said CRTC chairperson Ian Scott, in a press release.
Before carriers receive funding, they are required to provide information about the project, such as schedules and costs that have to be approved by the commission.
The CRTC states that construction for most of the projects announced today is expected to begin in the second half of the year.
The Broadband Fund will provide up to $750 million over five years to support projects that improve broadband access and mobile wireless services in underserved areas across the country.