December 21, 2016
We won! Internet is a basic service for all Canadians!
This is the first time since the telephone that the CRTC has named a basic service. Now, all Canadians, no matter where they live, must have access to reliable, world-class mobile and residential Internet services.
This is your victory.
Together, we led a nearly 50,000 strong movement for Internet as a basic service. In fact, a stunning 95% of the comments to the CRTC proceeding came from OpenMedia supporters!
Canadians asked for universal Internet access, support for rural communities, world-class speeds, unlimited data options, and minimum guarantees for the quality of their Internet. And today, we won it all! For each and every one of you who has signed petitions, sent comments, got your friends on board and funded this movement, thank you from the bottom of our hearts - this win belongs to all of us.
The ruling will be a game-changer for rural and underserved communities across Canada where Internet access is either unavailable or unaffordable, due to a digital divide keeping almost one in five Canadians offline. This digital divide doesn't just prevent vulnerable groups from accessing the Internet. This divide actually perpetuates and -- worse yet -- accentuates problems of inequality. Today’s decision will go a long way toward closing the divide.
Now, the Trudeau government has to step up and help turn this exciting vision into reality.
When our campaigns director Josh Tabish presented to the CRTC in April, he said:
I will make you a promise, if you get this right and plant a bold flag for Canada’s internet, the OpenMedia community will do everything in its power to drag the federal government, kicking and screaming if necessary, into a coordinated national broadband strategy that will build on your vision and ensure every Canadian has access to broadband internet services.
Now that the CRTC has spoken, we need to hold the Trudeau government accountable. Tell Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Prime Minister Trudeau: “You must build on the CRTC’s vision to create a national broadband strategy. Take action at https://act.openmedia.org/broadband-plan
Key points from today’s CRTC decision, and the accompanying national broadband strategy:
100% of Canadians must have access to reliable, world-class mobile and fixed Internet services.
The decision includes: Internet access defined as a basic service, access to world-class speeds, options for unlimited data packages, and a level playing field for rural and remote Canadians.
New network speed targets of 50 Mbps download speed and 10 Mbps upload speed, and the ability to subscribe to fixed Internet package with an unlimited data option.
Canadians from coast to coast to coast must have access to high-speed mobile and residential Internet connections. To fund this, the CRTC will redistribute hundreds of millions of dollars from telecommunications company revenues over the coming years.
Going forward, rural, remote, and urban communities must be able to access Internet speeds five times as fast as the U.S. minimum (10/1), and the fastest 4G/LTE mobile networks available.
Finally, the CRTC issued a new report outlining the imperative for a National Broadband Strategy and what the federal government should consider when building it.