The Canadian government, CRTC as well as the Quebec government harmonized their objectives for broadband in Canada in late 2016 and started to work “hand in hand” so to speak to continue to bridge the digital divide across the country. Details for new broadband subsidy programs were released at the same time as CRTC issued Telecom Regulatory Policy 2016-496 on the Path Forward for Canada’s Digital Economy including its target of 50 Mbps/10 Mbps services and availability of unlimited data offering.

These programs, namely the CRTC’s new broadband fund as well as the Canadian government’s Connect to Innovate (CTI) program total $1.25 B over the next 5-6 years, much more than previous programs of a similar nature. The Quebec Branché program adds another $100M specifically for underserved areas in Quebec. These programs will bring about much needed financing to enable better broadband in many remote and northern areas. Of particular interest is the focus on building or upgrading high-capacity backbone links to many communities as backbone connectivity is a major barrier to offering affordable and enhanced broadband in many areas. The map of backbone subsidy eligible communities provided on the CTI web site speaks loudly and unequivocally in favour of this type of subsidy.

LYA has successfully supported telecommunications service providers submitting application to government programs, both in developing successful applications, complete with full fledged business cases, as well as in providing the interface to the appropriate government representatives once the projects were awarded.

The deadline for submissions is March 13, 2017.

Contact Johanne Lemay at lemayj@lya.com or 514 288 6475 to ensure that you can get started as soon as possible to enhance broadband services in your communities.