CRTC: Broadband Internet must be considered a basic telecom service for all Canadians

CRTC: Broadband Internet must be considered a basic telecom service for all Cana

On Wednesday, Canada's telecom regulator -- the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) -- declared that broadband Internet must be considered as basic a necessity in the country as clean water, electricity, and sewage.

In declaring that high-speed Internet should be considered "a basic telecommunications service for all Canadians," the CRTC said that a new fund is being created for reaching Internet connectivity to rural and remote areas.

With the CRTC declaring that broadband Internet is now to be treated as an essential technology similar to voice service, Internet service providers (ISPs) have been asked to undertake requisite measures to ensure that broadband Internet becomes available to people residing in all rural and remote parts of the country in the next 10-15 years.

Highlighting the fact that nearly 2 million -- or approximately 18 percent -- Canadian households presently lack access to broadband Internet, the CRTC has defined broadband Internet as 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download speed and 10 Mbps upload speed.

About the CRTC's declaration of broadband Internet as a basic telecom service, CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said that "Access to broadband internet service is vital" for all Canadians, and added: "The availability of broadband internet, however, is an issue that can't be solved by the CRTC alone."

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