The CRTC has announced that seven projects in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia will receive $57.7 million in funding through its Broadband Fund.
The projects will target 15 rural and remote communities representing almost 6,500 households, including five communities that are both Indigenous and official-language minority communities.
“Once the networks are completed, they will provide improved transport connectivity for the targeted communities and will connect up to 55 institutions that provide a public service, such as schools, medical facilities and libraries,” the CRTC notes.
The commission outlines that approximately 1,400km of fibre transport network will be built in northern Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia.
“While there remains much work to be done, we are getting closer to the objective of providing broadband internet access to 90 percent of Canadian homes and businesses by the end of 2021,” said CRTC chairperson Ian Scott in a statement.
The Broadband Fund will allocate the $57.7 million in funding to Kativik Regional Government, Cogeco Connexion, Nexicom and Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation.
Further, the commission outlines that funding recipients will have to provide wholesale access to their infrastructure to entities that want to offer retail internet services.
“Prior to receiving funding, each recipient must complete a statement of work setting out the details of its project, including schedules and costs, which must be approved by the CRTC. It is anticipated that construction for some projects announced today will start in the second half of 2021 at the earliest,” the CRTC notes.
The CRTC Broadband Fund will provide up to $750 million over five years to support projects that improve broadband access and mobile wireless services in underserved areas across the country.