CRTC Promises Broadband to Rural Communities That Already Have It

The CRTC's list of 287 rural locations from British Columbia to Quebec that are in need of broadband infrastructures came as something of a surprise to residents in a large number of those communities - specifically from those who actually have had access to high-speed Internet for years. While this can be seen as a promising revelation for those skeptical about the progress of broadband accessibility in rural areas, it does highly suggest that the CRTC may be slightly out of touch with certain communities on the facilitation of this issue.

The Financial Post's report of this rather egregious discrepancy may inspire some concern that the reported $421.9 million expansion of broadband internet service across Canada may not be allocated in the most efficient or engaged fashion. It is possible that the list is simply out of date, or that the CRTC is simply out of touch with the actions of companies outside of Bell and Telus, who will be setting up broadband infrastructures in the majority of these communities.

“Newtonville tends to be one of those forgotten towns when it comes to these things,” said Ms. Burrows, attempting to explain why Newtonville might appear on a CRTC list of communities without broadband. “But we definitely have DSL here,” she said.

Several other towns, including small cities like Sault Ste Marie, Ontario and Pembroke, Ontario where also on this list.

A spokesperson for the CRTC dismissed the overlap, saying that “depending on the coverage within that community, [DSL] simply may not be available everywhere.”

Regardless of any mistakes, the CRTC's list is final, with Bell lined up to connect 112 communities in Ontario and Quebec, and Telus taking on 159 communities in BC, Alberta, and Quebec.

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