CityMash.com - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) declared this week that broadband internet be a basic service accessible to all Canadians.
Does this mean Vancouverites will be able to get their high speed internet service for free? No more paying for internet at home or data on our phones? Well, not exactly.
The CRTC’s decision to declare broadband internet a basic service is part of their goal to ensure that every Canadian is connected to the 21st Century. The CRTC recognizes that an internet connection, especially one that is fast and reliable, is required for everyday life and success.
To meet this goal, the CRTC has set a target for minimum upload and download speeds that must be accessible to Canadians across the country. Most major cities, like Vancouver, already enjoy internet speeds well above these minimums, but rural and isolated communities don’t always. Internet providers will be required to pay into a fund that will be used to create the infrastructure needed to achieve the desired speeds across Canada.
While the CRTC has set a geographic goal for broadband internet service, they have not set a monetary one. They believe that natural market forces and competition between providers will work to keep internet service prices down for consumers. However, they do note that regulation will be put into place if internet services become unaffordable.
In addition to their work with internet connectivity, the CRTC is also working to decrease the number of dropped calls by instituting phone service standards and to increase transparency on overage notices so we are no longer shocked every month when the phone bill arrives.