The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced on Thursday it will be spending up to $8.8 million from its Broadband Fund to expand high speed internet in five communities in Alberta and Nova Scotia, including four Indigenous communites.
ATG Arrow Technology Group Limited Partnership in Alberta and We’koqma’q First Nation and Seaside Communications Inc. in Nova Scotia will see roughly 680 households get broadband internet.
“Whether it’s helping to close our country’s pronounced digital divide or ensuring better access to services, we work so that Canadians can benefit from a world-class communications system. I am pleased to say that we have made some notable progress on this front in the past year, thanks to our Broadband Fund,” said Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO of the CRTC, in a statement.
The CRTC says construction of these projects will begin in the “second half of 2022 at the earliest”.
The Broadband Fund to date has committed up to $186.5 million to improve broadband internet services for 160 communities, including roughly 29,050 households. The CRTC says approved projects will see regional governments and smaller companies get up to $82.75 million in funding to expand internet services.
The federal government’s universal service objective target for fixed Internet is to have download speeds of at least 50 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps with unlimited data as an option.