CRTC to Invest $20.5 Million for Rogers, Telus and Bell to Expand Internet Nationwide

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced on Wednesday it plans to invest close to $20.5 million in funding from the Broadband Fund, for 10 projects to improve and expand internet services nationwide.

The CRTC says the projects will “potentially benefit approximately 3,625 households in 46 communities, including 16 Indigenous communities, in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador.”

The Broadband Fund will see funds allocated to Canada’s ‘Big 3’ carriers, along with ATG Arrow Technology Group Limited Partnership.

Check out the projects listed below:

  • TELUS Communications Inc. (British Columbia)
  • Bell Canada (Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador)
  • ATG Arrow Technology Group Limited Partnership (Alberta)
  • TELUS Mobility (Alberta)
  • Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (New Brunswick)

“The funding recipients will have to provide broadband Internet access services or mobile wireless services that either meet the universal service objective or move communities closer to attaining it,” explained the CRTC. “In some cases, the projects will introduce broadband services to communities that currently have no such services.”

Before getting funding, the CRTC notes recipients “must complete a statement of work setting out the details of each project, including schedules and costs,” and also seek approval from the Commission. Most projects are geared to start in the first half of 2022 at the earliest.

“As many Canadians have adopted new ways to work, learn and live, the COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed that poor Internet connections can disadvantage those who need Internet access the most. Canada’s remote communities face unique connectivity challenges. The projects from today’s announcement will enable residents of dozens of communities to benefit from distance education, help promote the talents of local artists and provide for new business opportunities,” said Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO of the CRTC, in a statement.

The CRTC Broadband Fund has committed close to $177 million to date to improve broadband services for “153 communities, representing approximately 28,125 households,” says the Commission (or about $6,293 CAD per household).

Earlier today, Ookla published Q2 speed test results for Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite internet, showing results in Canada exceeded median download speeds for fixed broadband providers.

According to Tesla North, Starlink internet now serves nearly 90,000 customers in 12 countries, according to SpaceX in a recent update.

Canadians can sign up here for Starlink and pay $649 for hardware and a $129/month service fee.