Rural Broadband: The challenges and potential solutions

August 8, 2018

Anja Karadeglija

Rural Broadband: The challenges and potential solutions

A guide to the problems, work done so far, the key players, and what needs to be done to get all Canadians access to broadband.


Table of Contents / More Info

Table of Contents

Introduction ........................................................................................................1
The extent of the rural broadband problem.................................................. 2-4
The main players ................................................................................................5
Current initiatives to improve access ................................................................7
Future solutions..................................................................................................8
Wire Report, The Hill Times and Lobby Monitor Coverage..............................9
Targeted, community-owned data critical to bridge rural broadband divide............ 9
Telesat launches satellite said to improve Nunavut internet speeds ...................... 11
LEO projects promise rural, remote broadband within a decade........................... 11
Xplornet lobby blitz fights 3.5 GHz clawback proposal .......................................... 13
New network quality rules will mean more fibre, Canadian IXPs: experts.............. 15
SWIFT opens first project for bids........................................................................... 16
Northwestel on track to complete modernization plan: CRTC ............................... 16
ISED points to existing programs in response to rural broadband report.............. 17
$26.4 million in rural internet funding announced for Sask..................................... 17
ISED consulting on timelines for 5G devices, 3.5 GHz for mobile use................... 18
Bains says spectrum auction dates to give industry predictability......................... 19
$23.3M to improve telecom network in eastern Quebec........................................ 20
Project to upgrade connectivity in all NWT communities completed..................... 20
Liberals bet $100-million on satellites ..................................................................... 21
SaskTel’s microwave backhaul network getting an upgrade.................................. 22
Report calls for ‘larger role’ for small rural broadband players............................... 22
Equipment developer to get $11.5M loan for satellite broadband ......................... 23
Northern Ontario community to get funds for internet infrastructure ..................... 23
Manitoba town launches no-fee internet service .................................................... 23
Spectrum auction complexity barrier for fixed wireless providers: Nordicity ......... 24
Ontario doubles down on rural internet, AI, sets up fund for next gen tech........... 25
ISP coalition stands up to proposed hydro pole price............................................ 26
New promise for fixed wireless, as telecoms incorporate LTE, 5G......................... 27
Fibre backbone, last mile projects in rural B.C. getting $38M in funding............... 28
Federal gov’t chipping in $17M for high-speed connections in Alberta................. 28
Cybersecurity, LEO satellites, data on OTT services in federal budget.................. 29
SWIFT takes fibre goals to the Hill........................................................................... 31
Distributel teams up with Eeyou network on northern Quebec service.................. 32
Coastal B.C. communities to get $45M toward better internet.............................. 33
$43.7M in Connect to Innovate funds allocated for Manitoba................................ 33
$24.8M from Connect to Innovate to go to N.L. ..................................................... 33
Canadian ‘tale of two internets,’ as 25% get online wirelessly: Deloitte ................ 34
House committee recommends rural broadband spending................................... 35
Over $24M in internet funding allocated to 26 Que. communities ......................... 35
Telesat loses LEO satellite after launch ................................................................... 36
Rural broadband costs to become clearer early next year: ISED........................... 36
Size of 600 MHz set-aside, licence areas points of contention.............................. 37
$290M allocated for internet infrastructure in rural Quebec ................................... 38
84% can access internet at basic service standard, only 11% do: CRTC............. 39
Future of health care is online, despite connectivity issues: senators.................... 40
For ‘acceptable’ internet, look beyond speed, House study told........................... 41
Ring of Fire to get $69 million for broadband infrastructure ................................... 42
Connect to Innovate funding announced for Nunavut............................................ 42
Axia rolling out gigabit service in rural Alberta ........................................................ 43
Connect to Innovate announces first projects ........................................................ 43
IoT growing in agriculture, despite rural broadband challenges............................. 44
$16M in Connecting Canadians funds going to Que. communities....................... 46
Prioritize public funding for digitally underserved areas: report.............................. 46
Western Canada, Quebec to get Connecting Canadians funding.......................... 47
Deny TerreStar ask for more spectrum, telecoms tell ISED.................................... 48
Scheer backs Que. calls for roadside wireless coverage ....................................... 49
Prioritize public funding for digitally underserved areas: report.............................. 50
ViaSat-2 satellite launches....................................................................................... 50
Connect to Innovate yields $4.4B ask..................................................................... 51
EORN proposes public-private partnership to fill cell coverage gaps.................... 52
CCSA heads to the Hill to talk Wholesale Code, rural broadband ......................... 53
AI, 5G, rural broadband funding in Ont., N.S. budgets........................................... 54
Are provinces filling the federal broadband strategy gap? ..................................... 55
Affordable Internet carrot, legislation review in federal budget............................... 58
Extend Connect to Innovate deadline for local gov’ts: QC Opposition MPs ......... 60
50 Mbps speeds, LTE part of CRTC’s new basic service requirements................. 61
Quebec opens call for rural broadband projects..................................................... 64
EchoStar XIX satellite launches ............................................................................... 64
Rural broadband program aims to bring 300 communities up to speed................ 65
Infrastructure, spectrum key to competition, lower prices: Bains .......................... 66
More competitive markets could be at FTTH disadvantage, conference hears..... 67
Wireless industry needs ‘stick’ to boost rural coverage: MP.................................. 68
Innovation Agenda consultation to include digital infrastructure............................ 69
Small telecoms lobby for access to federal broadband funding ............................ 70
Redirect voice subsidy to broadband, CRTC panel hears...................................... 71
New satellites to improve Internet access in North, companies say ...................... 72
Speeds ‘red herring’ when North needs backbone builds, panel hears................. 73
Basic service should include wholesale rates: TekSavvy........................................ 74
Rural broadband, CBC funding in 2016 federal budget ......................................... 75
With no network infrastructure, towns opting to build their own............................ 76
Ontario fibre project gets federal-provincial boost.................................................. 78
Experts question feasibility of low-orbit satellites for Internet ................................ 79
Government to spend $305M on rural broadband by 2017 ................................... 80
Affordability, not access, key to rural Internet delivery: ISPs .................................. 81
Affordable transport key, CRTC says in NWTel decision ........................................ 83
Northwestel focuses on upgrading fixed wireless services in revised
modernization plan .................................................................................................. 85