The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission this week ruled that all Canadians must have access to reliable, world-class mobile and residential Internet services.
The decision underpins a call for a new national strategy from the CRTC and citizens alike, resulting from the Commission’s Review of Basic Telecommunications Services consultation.
Vancouver-based OpenMedia, a pro-internet organization, described the decision as “truly historic.”
The ruling will be a game-changer for rural and underserved communities across Canada where Internet access is either unavailable or unaffordable, due to a digital divide keeping almost one in five Canadians offline.
“Canadians asked for universal Internet access, support for rural communities, world-class speeds, unlimited data options, and minimum guarantees for the quality of their Internet,” said Josh Tabish, campaigns director for OpenMedia. “With this ruling, the CRTC has finally listened to Canadians and agreed that residential and mobile Internet is a basic service required for modern life, as important as the telephone.”
The plan includes new network speed targets of 50 Mbps download speed and 10 Mbps upload speed, and the ability to subscribe to fixed Internet packages with an unlimited data option.
“Now that the CRTC has spoken, we need to hold the Trudeau government accountable for ensuring this exciting vision becomes a reality,” Tabish said.
The CRTC issued a new report outlining the imperative for a national broadband strategy and what the federal government should consider when building it.