Canada Wants 50 Mbps Internet Access in Rural Areas
As has been obvious for some time, internet access now is the primary “basic” function of a fixed communications network serving consumers. So it is that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has “declared that broadband access Internet service is now considered a basic telecommunications service for all Canadians.”
As a practical matter, that now means the CRTC is shifting its regulatory focus from wireline voice to broadband services, including shifting universal service funding from voice to internet access. In addition to focusing the annual $100 million universal service fund from voice to internet access, the CRTC also is creating a new fund that will invest up to $750 million over and above existing government programs, for a period of five years.
The CRTC also has set targets for the basic telecommunications services requiring speeds of 50 megabits per second downstream and 10 Mbps upstream for fixed broadband Internet access services.
As you would guess, rural areas are where the problem is most acute.
About 82 percent of Canadian consumer already can purchase service at 50 Mbps to 99.99 Mbps, but only about 29 percent of Canadians can buy such service in rural areas.
Source: CRTC report