October 3rd, 2018

NDP Statement on CRTC Broadband Fund

NDP Innovation, Science and Economic Development Critic, Brian Masse (Windsor West), made the following statement in response to the CRTC announcement this past week detailing their Broadband Fund:

“It has been two years since the Liberal government mandated the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to develop and implement a universal service objective for all Canadians in urban and rural/remote areas to have access to voice services and broadband internet access, on both fixed and mobile wireless networks.
Telecom Regulatory Policy 2016-496 established the standard of universal service for both residential and business fixed broadband internet access at speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) downloads and 10 Mbps upload. This decision also stated these subscribers should have access to adhere to a service offering an unlimited data allowance.
The CRTC’s decision, Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2018-377, clearly lays the foundation for some access, but not universal access to Canadians. Instead, this $750 million over the next five years, halves the speeds from the 2016 decision to 25 Mbps download and 5Mbps upload respectively. This is a step backward and comparable to Canadians playing pong versus PlayStation Pro.
Broadband access is not a game.
Rural Canadian businesses and residents rely on broadband access to compete in the real world, grow their businesses, access education, and access their government services. Even this government has committed to going digital, yet 16% of Canadian households do not have access to broadband services.
This same government is currently completing their digital data consultations demonstrating the need for more broadband access at higher speeds in order for Canada to compete in this digital economy and on the global stage. It’s time for the Trudeau Liberals to step up and grant access to the digital world via universal access at higher speeds, to broadband services, to rural and remote Canadians.”