Info for Your Business on: Broadband

Bridge the Broadband Gap Resolution Put forward by the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce & the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade in 2016 and Passed by the OCC in 2016 – Policy advocacy through 2019

Issue:

  • Inadequate access to high-speed internet is compromising the ability of communities across Ontario to attract and retain businesses. The provincial government has an important role to play in bridging the “broadband gap” by supporting provincial working groups and working collaboratively with the federal government.

 

Background:

  • In 2012 Canada ranked 33rd in the world in offering adequate internet speed. Toronto had Business 10 Gbps and Residential 250 Mbps in 2012.
  • Cities in the GTA had limited access to speeds that are available in Toronto, which heightens the risk that Ontario’s economic base could eventually be concentrated in 2-3 heavily populated urban centres.
  • In 2014, the Canadian government launched its Connecting Canadians program and estimated that by 2017 they would have invested up to $305 Million to address gaps in delivery. This funding was insufficient to get cable operators to invest in broadband infrastructure.  The new Federal government pledged $125 Million for infrastructure investment.
  • To help create the case local investment, a number of Mayors’ and Wardens’ groups have been established to identify regional broadband infrastructure needs.
  • The OCC supports the CRTC decision to promote competitive access to next generation fiber broadband networks that are integral to the success of Ontario businesses in the 21st

 

Recommendations:

  1. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce urges the Ontario Government to:
    After conducting its due diligence, support the funding requests of
    regional bodies (Mayors, Wardens groups, etc.) for better access to
    broadband infrastructure without detrimental impact on existing
    service providers.
  2. Facilitate the creation of additional regional bodies that can help
    build the business case for federal and private sector broadband
  3. Encourage the federal government to fund a successor initiative to
    Connecting Canadians. This funding initiative should fund the need for
    wired and wireless infrastructure for the expansion and extension of
    broadband connectivity to underserved businesses.
  4. Benchmark Ontario’s internet speeds and access versus competitor
    jurisdictions and consider 5 year targets of: Business 1Gbps and
    Residential 50Mbps and 10 year targets of Business 10 Gbps and
    Residential 250Gbps.
  5. Consider broadband as a piece of infrastructure.
  6. When assessing funding requests, establish requirements that high
    speed broadband connectivity to the last mile is a priority.

 

For more information click here: https://www.newmarketchamber.ca/usercontent/Bridge_the_Broadband_Gap-2016.pdf

 

Other Broadband News:

  1. January 2017 – The Government of Ontario and the Government of Canada are providing funding through the Small Communities Fund, which supports priority infrastructure projects in communities across the country that have less than 100,000 residents.

 

  1. January 2017 – ON Government – A new initiative in Southwestern Ontario reflects the Province’s commitment to working with federal, provincial, municipal and private sector partners to expand and enhance connectivity.

 

  1. December 2016 – CRTC – Broadband and mobile services
    Further to its legislative mandate, the CRTC has set the following targets for the basic telecommunications services that Canadians needs to participate in the digital economy:

    • Speeds of 50 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload for fixed broadband internet access services.
    • An unlimited data option for fixed broadband access services.
    • The latest mobile wireless technology available not only in homes and business, but also along major Canadian roads.

The CRTC is establishing a fund to support projects in areas that do not meet these targets. Applicants will be able to submit funding proposals in order to build or upgrade infrastructure for fixed and mobile broadband Internet access services. The fund will:

  • Make available up to $750 million over the first five years;
  • Be complementary to existing and future private investment and public funding;
  • Focus on underserved areas; and
  • Be managed at arm’s length by a third party.

 

For more information click here: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1172599

@VaughanChamber