VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Canada's telecom regulator has just ruled that all Canadians must have access to reliable, world-class mobile and residential Internet services, no matter where they live. The historic decision by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has prompted calls from Internet advocates to President-elect Trump not to let the United States fall behind.
According to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 39% of the U.S. rural population lacks broadband access, and today's decision comes against a backdrop of deep uncertainty at the FCC. Experts warn that the days of an open Internet in the U.S. are numbered, following Trump's appointment of figures hostile to Net Neutrality consumer protections to manage his transition team's work at the FCC.
"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. Today, we won it all - and there's no reason why the U.S. can't do the same," said Josh Tabish, campaigns director for OpenMedia, which led a nearly 50,000-strong citizen movement for Internet as a basic service.
Tabish continued: "Americans face many of the same challenges, especially when it comes to delivering reliable, high-speed Internet to rural and remote communities. These challenges can be surmounted, but it will take real political will to do so. Does Donald Trump really want to see the U.S. fall behind its neighbor to the north? If not, it's essential that he ensures the FCC continues to uphold Net Neutrality and stands up for rural Americans."
OpenMedia describes today's CRTC ruling as a game-changer for rural and underserved communities across Canada, and says it sets a positive example for the U.S. and the rest of the world.
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.
- New network speed targets of 50 Mbps download speed and 10 Mbps upload speed, and the ability to subscribe to a fixed Internet package with an unlimited data option. In the U.S., the FCC equivalent is 10 Mbps download and just 1 Mbps upload.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Nearly 50,000 Canadians asked the CRTC to ensure affordable, world-class broadband for all at UnblockCanada.ca
OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.
Digital Rights Specialist, OpenMedia
1 (888) 441-2640 ext. 5
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