However, we found that it did not have a strategy in place to improve access for almost 3.7 million Canadians. We also examined whether the Department developed an appropriate strategy so that Canadians in rural and remote areas could access affordable, sustainable, and high-quality broadband Internet services. The secondary market for unused spectrum did not function well, partly because licensees had little business incentive to make unused spectrum available for subordinate licensing. The auction will include flexible use licences to allow for the deployment of both mobile and fixed wireless Internet services. All work in this audit was performed to a reasonable level of assurance in accordance with the Canadian Standard for Assurance Engagements (CSAE) 3001—Direct Engagements set out by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) in the CPA Canada Handbook—Assurance. In fact, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has been reluctant to establish a strategy without funding. Our commitment to providing reliable Internet for rural areas is the driving force behind our independently owned LTE network. Note: During our audit, consultations were under way on whether to convert the 3,475 to 3,650 megahertz spectrum band to flexible use. 1.48 Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, in collaboration with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, should make a detailed connectivity map publicly available and update it regularly while respecting the confidentiality of service providers’ data. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada develops and implements an appropriate strategy to respond to the connectivity needs of rural and remote Canada, monitors progress, and measures outcomes. 1.2 Most Canadians have Internet services available to them if they choose to subscribe to these services. 1.3 Broadband infrastructure includes the “backbone,” which consists of two forms of main data routes: wired, which delivers data via a fibre optic cable (also called a fibre line); and wireless, which delivers data via a microwave station to a fixed wireless tower or a satellite (Exhibit 1.1). The pandemic has exemplified the need to connect Canadians and I’m hopeful this funding will see projects in our area get off the ground quickly to ensure constituents in my riding have access to the internet supports and services they need”, states Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament, Thunder Bay – Rainy River.

The Department will continue to develop policies that encourage service into rural areas to ensure that all Canadians benefit from high-quality services, ubiquitous coverage, and affordable prices.

1.54 Recommendation.

So, the Department did not have a strategy to meet the connectivity needs of Canadians in rural and remote areas. In accordance with our regular audit process, we obtained the following from entity management: The objective of this audit was to determine whether Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, according to their respective roles and responsibilities, monitored the state of connectivity as well as developed and implemented a strategy to meet the connectivity needs of Canadians in rural and remote areas. 1.9 As part of its review of basic telecommunications services in 2016, the Commission announced that it will create a fund that could have up to $750 million available in the first five years to help it meet its universal service objective. Putting in place a long-term connectivity solution for satellite-dependent communities in the North, with download speeds of 10 Mbps.

During the audit, we interviewed officials from the Department and the Commission, as well as from other federal organizations. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. 1.72 Unused auctioned licensed spectrum in rural and remote areas. Drawing on the strength of the region’s collective voice, SWIFT will oversee a $209 million broadband expansion project to increase access to high-speed connectivity in underserved rural areas across Southwestern Ontario. The so-called ‘broadbandgap’ remains a reality throughout Rural Canada, with lower As a result, the program will connect almost 900 communities, three times its target, including an unprecedented number of projects that will benefit the North and Indigenous peoples. For example, a flexible use licence can be used for both mobile and fixed wireless services (Exhibit 1.2). 1.7 Again in its December 2016 Submission to the Government of Canada’s Innovation Agenda, the Commission noted that it was important for all Canadians to have broadband access. 1.65 Spectrum can be used for various purposes. Communities that would otherwise not benefit without targeted government support include the most expensive to connect, such as Arctic and Indigenous communities. 1.12 In June 2018, the government announced a review of the Broadcasting Act, the Telecommunications Act, and the Radiocommunication Act. As a result, the program will connect almost 900 communities, three times its target, including an unprecedented number of projects that will benefit the North and Indigenous peoples. For them, the government had no plan to deliver speeds greater than 5/1 Mbps. However, Internet speeds in urban areas are superior to the speeds in rural and remote areas. So you’ll never worry about a usage fee again. It has exposed and compounded existing inequalities and vulnerabilities and has hit rural communities hard. For example, in Quebec, there was one application form for both the federal funding program and a comparable provincial program. The Department will use this information to review any licensing rules or information gaps that are impeding access to spectrum by rural operators. THUNDER BAY – The federal government is spending $1.75 billion to ensure the availability of high-speed Internet capabilities to 98 per cent of the nation. Director: Lucie Talbot, Theresa Crossan A key feature of the Connect to Innovate program is third-party access to publicly funded backbone infrastructure. That’s why we put forward the country’s first national strategy to achieve universal connectivity, backed up by billions of dollars in federal funding. The Department expected 90% would have access to these speeds by 2020. 1.71 In June 2018, the Department launched consultations on converting the 3,500 MHz spectrum band (specifically, 3,475 to 3,650 MHz) to flexible use from the fixed broadband service for which it had been used. Cost was a significant factor when competing proposals targeted the same geographic area.

gathering additional information from rural and remote stakeholders about the challenges they face in accessing unused spectrum; reviewing spectrum licensing conditions that promote deployment and secondary markets; and. In our view, the set-aside alone may not be sufficient to bring high-quality broadband coverage to smaller rural and remote areas. The Department is committed to encouraging affordable telecommunications services to help bridge the digital divide, foster inclusivity, and support an innovative economy. Instead, the Department determined that communities were eligible for Connect to Innovate funding if they were more than two kilometres away from existing fibre backbone infrastructure.

© Copyright © 2014 - 2020 Second, officials from the Department and the Minister’s office assessed funding options, each including a different mix of eligible projects. Join me in the discussion of how his passion and mission has been impacted and put in the spotlight by the pandemic and listen to his advice for other entrepreneurs." Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada should develop a strategy that. In spring 2018, the Department established the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Connectivity Committee, which is working collaboratively to examine service levels, priorities, principles, and gaps, as well as to develop coordinated plans of action.


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