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CRTC Broadband Fund to allocate $20.5 million for mobile wireless and Internet access services in Manitoba, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador

Press Release

From: Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

August 4, 2022 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

Today, the CRTC announced that ten projects will receive up to $20.5 million in funding from the Broadband Fund.

The projects will support the rollout of fourth-generation (also known as LTE or LTE-A) mobile wireless access along 425 kilometres of roads and highways in Manitoba, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador. They will also support improved Internet and mobile wireless access that will benefit 2,250 households in 35 communities, including five Indigenous communities and one official language minority community, in the three provinces.

The Broadband Fund will allocate funds to the following service providers:

  • Bell Canada (Manitoba)
  • Bell Mobility Inc. (Manitoba and Quebec)
  • Sichuun Inc., with Naskapi Imuun Inc. and Redline Communications Inc. (Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • Sogetel Mobilité inc. (Quebec)
  • TELUS Communications Inc. (Quebec)

With today’s announcement, the Broadband Fund has committed up to $226.5 million to improve broadband services for 205 communities, representing approximately 32,655 households.

The funding recipients will provide mobile wireless services or fixed broadband Internet access services that either meet the universal service objective or move communities closer to attaining it.

Prior to receiving funding, recipients must complete a statement of work setting out the details of each project, including schedules and costs, which must be approved by the CRTC. Construction for most projects announced today will start in late 2022 to early 2023.

Quotes

“Since the first funding announcement from the Broadband Fund in 2020, more communities, households, and roads have access to better and faster Internet and voice services. These services are an important part of Canada’s public safety infrastructure. We are proud that our Broadband Fund is assisting in connecting more people and making them feel safer on the road. The new projects announced today will benefit communities and areas where there is a great need for mobile wireless and broadband Internet access services.”

Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO, CRTC

Quick facts

  • The universal service objective for mobile wireless service is the use of the latest generally deployed mobile wireless technology (currently long-term evolution [LTE]) in Canadian homes and businesses and on major transportation roads. The target for fixed Internet access service is that all Canadians households have access to download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps, with an unlimited data option.
  • In 2020, 99.5% of Canadians and 88.5% of major roads and highways had access to mobile wireless services using the latest generally deployed technology (currently LTE service).
  • In 2020, 50/10 Mbps service with unlimited data options, which corresponds to the level of the CRTC’s universal service objective regarding fixed broadband Internet access service, was available to 89.7% of Canadian households (compared to 87.4% in 2019), while 54.4% of rural Canadians had access to the same service.
  • In 2020, only 39.1% of First Nations reserves had access to 50/10 Mbps service with unlimited data. This service was not accessible to First Nations reserves in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yukon.
  • In November 2019, the CRTC issued its second call for applications for projects to improve broadband Internet access services and mobile wireless services across Canada. The second call generated 586 valid applications requesting more than $1.5 billion in total funding.
  • Applications were assessed based on many factors, including their technical merit, financial viability, level of community consultation, and the amount of funding committed from other sources – both public and private.
  • The CRTC Broadband Fund will provide up to $750 million over the first five years to support projects that improve broadband Internet access services and mobile wireless services in underserved areas in Canada. It is designed to complement private-sector investments and public-sector initiatives.
  • Given the current state of telecommunications infrastructure in Canada, the CRTC expects fixed broadband Internet access service at the universal service objective level to be available in 100% of Canadian homes and businesses by 2030 or sooner.

Associated links

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