Yesterday, the CRTC announced that seven projects will receive up to $19.5 million in funding from the Broadband Fund.
The projects will benefit approximately 1,255 households in ten communities, seven Indigenous communities will get broadband Internet services. Goodfish Lake is one of the communities in Alberta.
The Broadband Fund will allocate funds to ATG Arrow Technology Group Limited Partnership to connect Goodfish Lake to download and upload speeds from 50/10 Mbps to 100/50 Mbps with unlimited data.
With yesterday’s announcement, on March 29, approximately 295 households in Goodfish Lake will be eligible to be connected at a cost of $7.2 million.
“We are making good progress in assessing the applications and have now committed over $200 million through the Broadband Fund,” Ian Scott, Chairperson, and CEO of the CRTC said. “Money is now flowing in areas of the country where Canadians do not currently have access to an Internet service that meets our universal service objective. The announcement will benefit 10 small communities in Western Canada.”
In 2019, the availability of 50/10 Mbps service with unlimited data in First Nations communities was behind rural areas, with only 34.8 per cent of First Nations communities having access to this level of service.
Given the current state of telecommunications infrastructure in Canada, the CRTC expects fixed broadband Internet access service at the universal service objective level to be available in 100 per cent of Canadian homes and businesses by 2030 or sooner.
The Broadband Fund has to date committed up to $206 million to improve broadband services for 170 communities, representing approximately 30,405 households.
The fund will provide up to $750 million over the first five years to support projects that improve broadband Internet access services and mobile wireless services in underserved areas in Canada. It is designed to complement private-sector investments and public-sector initiatives.
The funding recipients will have to provide mobile wireless services or fixed broadband Internet access services that either meet the universal service objective or move communities closer to attaining it.
Before receiving funding, recipients must complete a statement of work setting out the details of each project, including schedules and costs, which must be approved by the CRTC. It is anticipated that construction for most projects announced today will start in the second half of 2022 at the earliest.
The CRTC is continuing to evaluate the applications submitted under the second call for applications. Further funding announcements will be made as additional projects are approved.