CRTC taking first applications for its Broadband Fund

4 Jun 2019

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has launched the first call for applications for its five-year CAD750 million (USD556 million) Broadband Fund, initially for projects in the Canadian territories (Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) and satellite-dependent communities. According to the CRTC, all households in the Canadian territories lack access to the regulator’s ‘universal service objective’ standard of fixed broadband internet access – 50Mbps/10Mbps download/upload with the option of unlimited data – and 72% of major roads are not covered by 4G LTE mobile, while the digital divide is also evident in communities across the country where there is no terrestrial connectivity. Applicants with at least three years’ experience deploying and operating broadband infrastructure in Canada may apply for funding for projects to build or upgrade fixed access and transport infrastructure or mobile networks, by 3 October 2019. The CRTC will announce the selected projects from the first call for applications in 2020. A second call open to all regions in Canada will be launched this autumn.