I think the Federal government has been getting the point from the CRTC hearings on rural broadband:
High-speed Internet service is coming soon to more than 30 000 Canadian households in rural or remote areas, the federal government said on Saturday. Announcing a total of 21 new broadband projects, Ottawa agreed to provide $29.1-million to fund the expansion.
“These projects are the latest commitment to Canadians living in northern and rural regions through the Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians program,” said Tony Clement, Canada’s Minister of Industry, in a release. “The new economic opportunities these projects will create in these communities will benefit Canada for many years to come.”
No, $29.1M isn’t a lot nor nothing to sneeze at, but the real question is how long will it take to get the projects going, small communities connected, and how much it will cost people. In my mind connecting the entire country with broadband is a solid investment for all of us.
This $29.1M brings the total Federal investment to $152.2M to expand broadband into rural areas. However, I hope people do some research into what qualifies as broadband, since the community of Newtonville, ON is on the list for not having broadband, but has had DSL for the past five years. Perhaps it’s minimum level of service. If that’s so, I’d like fibre to my door, please. I’m, like a whole 3KM from downtown Vancouver…
I guess that’s not rural, is it?
Regardless, I hope once the cable and fibre are laid in, that Shaw, Rogers, Bell, and the other telcos don’t charge more for broadband in rural areas than they do for us urbanites.