Building a Better Canada: Universal High-Speed Internet

In today’s connected world, it is more important than ever that Canadians have fast and reliable access to the internet.

For small businesses looking to reach customers around the world, seniors who want to stay in touch with family and friends, or college students who want to move home for the summer but still need to be able to take online courses or apply for work, high-speed internet is a necessity, not a luxury.

With Budget 2019, the Government is announcing a new national target to deliver high-speed internet to every Canadian home and business, and a plan to make that happen.

Canada’s Commitment: Universal High-Speed Internet for Every Canadian

In Budget 2019, the Government is announcing its commitment to set a national target, in which 95 per cent of Canadian homes and businesses will have access to internet speeds of at least 50/10 Mbps by 2026 and 100 per cent by 2030, no matter where they are located in the country. This is in keeping with the broadband internet speed objective set by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) for Canadian households and businesses across Canada.

It is estimated that by the time all currently planned broadband programs are in place, by 2021, about 90 per cent of Canadians will have reliable access to internet speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloading data and 10 Mbps for uploading data (also known as 50/10 Mbps). These are the speeds identified by the CRTC to enable Canadians to take advantage of cloud-based software applications, multiple government services (e.g. telehealth services, business support), online learning resources and high definition streaming videos. However, even with 90 per cent of Canadians covered, about 1.5 million Canadian households will still be underserved.

Delivering high-speed internet to every Canadian, especially in more rural and remote areas, will help businesses grow, create new jobs and connect more people to the resources, services and information they need to build a better future.

Investing in Universal High-Speed Internet Access

To help every Canadian access high-speed internet at minimum speeds of 50/10 Mbps, Budget 2019 is proposing a new, coordinated plan that would deliver $5 billion to $6 billion in investments in rural broadband over the next 10 years to help build a fully connected Canada—including rural, remote and northern communities. This includes:

Since launching the Connect to Innovate program in Budget 2016, the Government has leveraged $554 million from the private sector and other levels of government for approximately 180 projects so far.

These projects will help improve connectivity in more than 900 communities, including in 190 Indigenous communities, and connect up to 1,100 institutions like schools, hospitals and community centres—three times more than initially projected to benefit from the program.

Working together, industry and governments have been successful in bringing more Canadians online. Some initial steps are already beginning to show results:

Building a Better Canada: Universal High-Speed Internet(203kb)

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