According to a report from the CBC, it won’t be long before all Canadians will be able to download and stream faster. In fact, the new national Internet speed targets have set a timeline for this to happen within four years.
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission announced on Tuesday that it “expects all Canadians to have access to broadband internet speeds of at least five megabits per second for downloads and one megabit per second for uploads” by 2015. The CRTC, Canada’s internet regulator, also said that over 80 per cent of Canadian households already meet or exceed that benchmark.
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The targets were set as a result of a review that was conducted in late 2010 where the public was consulted on what role the CRTC should play in improving high-speed Internet access, as well as whether it should be considered part of basic telecommunications service and if any sort of subsidization should take place. While targets were set to enhance basic service across Canada, subsidies will not be part of the plan.
In order to facilitate the targets, the CRTC will utilize a combination of funding options from both the private and public sector, as well as investments.
The increase in download and upload speeds are a welcome change to basic services, as digital downloads through popular music applications such as iTunes and video streaming through services like Netflix are becoming increasingly popular. The addition of high-definition to video streaming and surround-sound increases the minimum speed requirements from 1.5 megabytes per second to approximately 6 megabits per second. Netflix noted that most Canadian ISPs average about 2.5 to 3 megabits per second as part of any basic service packages.