All Canadians should have access to high-speed Internet, according to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission), setting ambitious targets for speeds.   They also set up a $750-million (over five years) fund to expand broadband services to remote regions.

Earlier today, the CRTC announced that broadband Internet with download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps will now be considered a “basic telecom service.” It also said all customers, even in rural areas where plans often have low caps on data usage, should have access to unlimited data options.

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman and CEO, CRTC said: “Access to broadband Internet service is vital and a basic telecommunication service all Canadians are entitled to receive. Canadians who participated during our process told us that no matter where they live or work in our vast country — whether in a small town in northern Yukon, a rural area of eastern Quebec or in downtown Calgary — everyone needs access to high-quality fixed Internet and mobile services. We are doing our part to bring broadband services to rural and remote communities.

The availability of broadband Internet, however, is an issue that can’t be solved by the CRTC alone. All players in the Canadian communications landscape will need to do their part to ensure Canadians have access to the services they need to participate in the digital economy.

High quality and reliable digital connectivity is essential for the quality of life of Canadians and Canada’s economic prosperity.”

An estimated 99.5 per cent of Canadians had broadband access by the end of 2015, according to the CRTC. That number drops to 93 per cent when excluding Internet accessed via satellite or LTE networks.

None of Bell Canada, Telus nor Rogers Communications have officially responded to today’s CRTC announcement.

To see the CRTC’s announcement, see http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1172599

CRTC's Jean Pierre Blais

CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais