Last week the Federal government announced their latest plan to improve Canadian telecom and Internet infrastructure.
Among the commitments contained in the Digital Canada 150 document, a pledge to connect over 98 percent of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2019, with speeds of at least five megabits per second.
While that does include nearly 300,000 Canadian households, mostly in rural and remote communities, that will have access to high-speed Internet for the first time, it also marks a change in the broadband commitments previously made.
The government had set similar speed and access targets for 2015 for all Canadians; nevertheless, broadband connectivity projects will be eligible for federal funding under the Building Canada Fund.
Allowing more Canadians access to the broadband telecom infrastructure means more Canadians with have better options, more choice, and the ability to go with companies like Worldline who believe we’ve all been overcharged for far too long.
Canadians are understandably frustrated by their lack of access to broadband Internet. It’s a huge country, and providing access to the communication tool of this and next century requires a massive investment.
This most recent injection is a nice boost, but obviously much more is needed. The only reason every Canadian doesn’t have broadband access, or has to pay through the nose to get it, is a lack of political will. To get Canada on pace with the rest of the modern world, more programs like Digital Canada 150 need to be introduced.
The telecom advocacy group, OpenMedia.ca agrees:
“The government has had years to get this right – which makes [the] unveiling all the more disappointing”, says OpenMedia.ca Executive Director Steve Anderson. “This reads like the digital strategy for the last 5 years – not for the 5 years ahead. Although there are some positive proposals here, all in all Canada will still be left playing catch-up with the rest of the industrialized world when it comes to Internet access and affordability.”