The Canadian Government is to target backbone Internet connections with a $500-million Connect to Innovate rural broadband program. The program will emphasize funding for projects to build “backbone” networks, as opposed to “digital highways that move data in and out of communities.”
Calls for new rural broadband projects
Innovation Science and Economic Development’s program supports new backbone infrastructure to connect institutions like schools and hospitals. A portion of funding is allocated for upgrades and last-mile infrastructure to households and businesses. Rural broadband funding is available for communities that are currently underserved. A rural community is defined as a named place with a population of less than 30,000 residents and that is 2 km or more from the nearest 1 Gbps PoP. A remote community meets the definition of a rural community and does not have year-round road access and/or is included on the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) list of communities dependent on satellite for telecommunications services. With improved broadband services, Canadians will have the opportunity to innovate and participate in our economy, democracy and way of life using new digital tools and cutting-edge services like tele-health and e-learning.
See also Connect to Innovate program