Broadband: the next essential utility

January 2017

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One of the largest challenges all communities face across Canada is how to build better broadband connectivity.  Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has announced the “Connect to Innovate” (CTI) broadband funding program for the funds identified in the 2016 Federal budget, “Budget 2016 proposed up to $500 million over five years, starting in 2016-17, for a new program to extend and enhance broadband service in rural and remote communities.” In addition, the federal government’s fall 2016 economic update statement included $2 billion in funding where broadband infrastructure is eligible, plus an unspecified amount to be announced in 2017 for a “Smart Cities Challenge”.

BDO Canada has joined the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF Canada) as a sponsor to support our multidisciplinary movement to foster intelligent communities across Canada. BDO’s position paper, Broadband: the next essential utility, is part of a joint effort with ICF Canada to release coordinated position papers to promote intelligent communities and encourage stakeholders to access important funding programs. This position paper covers the following topics:

  • What is broadband?
  • Guiding principles of broadband internet
  • Bandwidth targets
  • Funding broadband infrastructure
  • Recommendations

Through working with different organizations across Canada, BDO is aware of communities currently gathering the information they need to make a funding application in early 2017.  Communities that are interested in accessing funding but have not started the process need to start preparing to participate in the first round of funding, as the size of this fund is small and the expected participation rate may be high. First responders to the call for the proposals may enjoy the best opportunity to receive larger amounts of potential funding out of the unallocated budget.

Download the full position paper to learn more about the funding opportunities.