Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
Today, the CRTC launched its second call for applications for the Broadband Fund. The CRTC is now accepting applications for all eligible projects to improve broadband access across Canada, including in areas covered by the first call.
Applicants that have at least three years’ experience deploying and operating broadband infrastructure in Canada may apply for funding for projects to build or upgrade access and transport broadband infrastructure or mobile wireless networks. Applicants must invest financially in their project and demonstrate that it would not be viable without the support of the Broadband Fund.
Other criteria, along with detailed information on how applications will be assessed, can be found in the Application Guide. Applications must be submitted using the CRTC’s form by March 27, 2020 at 17:00 PST.
The Broadband Fund will provide up to $750 million over five years to support projects that will help all Canadians to participate fully in the digital economy. The CRTC will announce the selected projects from the second call for applications in due course.
“All Canadians should be able to participate in the digital economy. We are now accepting additional funding applications to improve access to broadband Internet and mobile wireless services in all underserved regions of Canada. Prospective applicants are encouraged to work with partners and to submit high-quality projects that will make a real difference in the lives of Canadians no matter where they live” said Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO of the CRTC.
- The CRTC’s universal service objective for fixed Internet access service is that all Canadians have access to at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 10 Mbps upload, with an option of unlimited data.
- The CRTC’s goal is to achieve 90% coverage by the end of 2021 and 100% as soon as possible within the next decade.
- The universal service objective for mobile wireless services is that all Canadians have access to the latest generally deployed mobile wireless technology (currently LTE). It should be accessible in homes, businesses and along major roads.
- The CRTC launched the first call for applications for the Broadband Fund on June 3, 2019. It received 15 applications targeting the territories and satellite-dependent communities, and expects to announce the selected projects in 2020.
- The CRTC’s Broadband Fund is designed to complement private-sector investments and public-sector initiatives.
- A comparative selection approach will be used to evaluate and select projects for funding, which will be conducted in a three-step process: eligibility, assessment and selection.
- Special consideration may be given to projects proposing to improve service in Indigenous or official-language minority communities.