RESTON, MANITOBA: July 13, 2015 — ( L to R) Chad Hack, his wife Danielle and their daughters Novalee, 3, and Kylie, 6, on their Reston, Manitoba property which they purchased for $10 on the agreement that they would stay in the community for at least five years. Photograph by Michelle Siu.

CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission) announced that they will be providing high-speed internet as basic telecommunication service. Last Tuesday July 11,2017 the national regulator ordered the country’s internet providers to begin working toward boosting internet service and speeds in rural and isolated areas. The main objective of investing on the high-speed internet for the community is for the country’s prosperity and for their future society. To achieve the goal CRTC will require providers pay into a fund that’s set to grow to $750 million over five years. Companies will be able to dip into that fund to help pay for the infrastructure needed to extend high-speed service to areas where it is not currently available. The fund is similar to one that subsidized the expansion of local landline telephone service in years past. Providers used to pay 0.53 per cent of their revenues, excluding broadband, into that fund. Now they’ll pay the same rate on all revenues, including broadband. The government also wants reduce the occurrence of dropped calls and spotty mobile coverage across the country and on major roads. Providers will be able to choose what they charge for different speed and data plans. Through competition and the conditions set on the CRTC’s infrastructure fund, the regulator hopes service will be affordable. As part of declaring broadband a “basic” or essential service and as a part of it they set a new objective of speeding up their upload and download speed. That all citizens should have the option of unlimited data with speeds of at least 50 megabits per second for downloads and 10 megabits per second for uploads. The goals for mobile coverage are less ambitious, and simply call for “access to the latest mobile wireless technology” in cities and major transport corridors. The government estimates that some two million Canadian households, or 18 percent of the population, do not currently have access to their desired speeds. The money collected to the companies will be distributed over five years, with the CRTC expecting 90 percent of Canadians to access the new speeds by 2021. The government also demands wireless service providers will have to offer platforms that address the needs of people with hearing or speech disabilities within six months.