CRTC declares broadband internet access a basic service


The CRTC has declared broadband internet a basic telecommunications service.

In a ruling handed down Wednesday, the national regulator ordered the country’s internet providers to begin working toward boosting internet service and speeds in rural and isolated areas.

With today’s ruling, the CRTC has set new targets for internet service providers to offer customers in all parts of the country download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps, and to also offer the option of unlimited data.

This is a “good news, bad news” kind of thing for Canadians. Many of us, myself included, are in rural areas and don’t have access to anywhere near the speeds the government is now mandating (my internet seems particularly good at this moment but even then, I’m getting 3.83Mb/s downloads and only 0.96Mb/s uploads). The bad news is there is no cap on the rates ISPs will charge rural customers so they could effectively price the service out of availability for us country folk.