The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has launched its third call for applications for its Broadband Fund, aimed at projects to improve access to fixed and mobile broadband internet services across Canada. The third call focuses specifically on the following types of projects: telecommunications transport infrastructure projects; mobile infrastructure projects that provide or upgrade mobile connectivity along major roads; and ‘projects that increase satellite transport capacity (operational costs) in satellite-dependent communities.’ Applications are due by 18 April 2023.
The CRTC’s Broadband Fund will provide up to CAD750 million (USD554 million) over five years to support the digital economy. The CRTC launched its first call for Broadband Fund applications in June 2019, targeting the territories – i.e. the northern part of Canada consisting of Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut – and satellite-dependent communities. Under that call, the regulator allocated funding to five projects. The watchdog launched the second call for Broadband Fund applications in November 2019, targeting eligible areas across all of Canada. To date, under the second call, the CRTC has allocated funding to 44 projects. In total, approximately CAD226.5 million has been dedicated to 49 projects in nine provinces and two territories so far.