Date : 1 March 2014

Digicom presents you an important element of the federal budget that directly concerns the company.
For many years now, Digicom has pointed out the importance of high-speed Internet in rural areas in order to help the communities, devitalized of not, gain access to the major urban centres and provide families with faster Internet services.

Now, the federal government recognizes the importance of a high-speed network by getting involved financially.

We therefore present you the chapter 3.4 of the 2014 federal budget.

Improve broadband network access in rural and northern communities

The economic action plan proposes to devote 305 millions of dollars over five years to expand and improve the access to 5 megabits per seconds broadband high-speed networks which could benefit up to 280 000 Canadian homes.

For most Canadians, access to affordable broadband networks represents an important part of their daily lives. The fast-paced evolution of technology, the constantly changing users’ needs and the widespread use of Internet require a wider access to faster networks. People living outside urban centres often have a hard time having access to equivalent Internet services, notably because they live in remote or rugged areas. In the 2013 speech from the throne, the government had made the commitment to continue to make broadband high-speed Internet more accessible to rural regions. The improvement and the increase of Internet access will favour employment, growth and prosperity for Canadians living in rural ad northern regions, for they will have a better opportunity to take part in the digital economy. Furthermore, small and medium enterprises will gain a better access to information and markets.

Along with other partners, the government supports this access in many ways, notably by rendering broadband networks projects eligible for the new Canada Building Plan as part of the 2013 Economic Action Plan. In the fall of 2013, the Minister of Industry has also announced that the government would renew the spectrum of licenses to wireless services in order to offer an access to high-speed Internet for rural regions if enterprises in possession of those licences did in fact use the spectrum to those ends. The enterprises that did not use the spectrum will lose it and the government will make sure that Canadians benefit from a greater quality spectrum for country-wide high-speed Internet services.

In order to meet the growing needs of Canadians living in rural or northern communities, the 2014 Economic Action Plan proposes granting 305 millions of dollars over five years to widen and improve broadband service reaching a target speed of 5 megabits per second. Up to 280 000 Canadian homes could benefit from such a service, which represents an almost universal access. The government will provide more detailed information on the new program in the coming months.
The telecommunication infrastructure is essential for rural, northern and remote Canadian communities. The broadband networks will favour economic growth, for they will improve productivity, offer new products and services, support innovation in all economic sectors and offer greater accessibility to new local and foreign markets.

– Federation of Canadian Municipalities

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