‘Logical’ to start CRTC broadband fund focusing on North: Scott

Originally published by The Wire Report
Author: Anja Karadeglija

TORONTO —The CRTC chose to initially target its long-awaited broadband fund on Canada’s North because that’s the area with the most need for improvement when it comes to internet service, CRTC chairman Ian Scott said.

“There’s not a single one of those communities that have the target today,” he said in an interview following a speech at the Canadian Telecom Summit, referring to the CRTC basic service speed of 50 Mbps downloan and 10 Mbps upload. “To me, not only is it logical, it’s inherently defensible to say let’s start with the most challenged and the most challenging places, and that is the North.”

He added: “That is the where the problem is the greatest, and I would submit where the solution has the biggest positive impact.”

On Monday afternoon, the CRTC announced that it would begin accepting applications for its rural connectivity fund, and that the first round will only consider areas in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon, or satellite-dependent communities in any area of Canada.

The fund, first announced in 2016, will provide $750 million over five years to hard-to-reach communities. Back in February, the commission released its application guide for the fund, and accepted comments into March. Applications are due by Oct. 3, 2019, and the CRTC will announce the results of the application process in 2020.

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