Canada s Broadband Approach

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1 Canada s Broadband Approach OECD Workshop on Developing Broadband Access in Rural and Remote Areas Porto Portugal, October 2004 Peter Hill, Director, Industry Canada

2 Government of Canada s Commitment.ensure that high-speed broadband access is widely available to Canadian communities. Canada s Innovation Strategy, 2002 [We foresee] a Canada where the benefits of the 21 st century economy are being reaped from coast to coast to coast on our farms, in our fishing, forest and mining industries and in our rural communities where modern communications are helping to surmount the barrier of distance. Speech from the Throne, 2004 A national vision OECD

3 Our commitment is enshrined in our Telecommunications Act Telecommunications Act policy objectives: - Safeguard, enrich and strengthen the social and economic fabric of Canada and its regions - Render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas OECD

4 Success in Promoting Access and Use Over the course of the last 10 years, there has been a strong federal role in promoting infrastructure, content and use of ICTs: 100% of schools and libraries connected by % of computers in schools are connected to the Internet Median student-to-computer ratio is 1:5 (Statistics Canada 2003/04) Over 500,000 refurbished computers to schools Connected 12,000 volunteer organizations to the Internet Established 8,800 public Internet access sites CA*net4: the world s first national optical research and education network 64% households (HIUS 2004) & 75% SMEs use the Internet (CFIB 2003) Among lowest communications costs of OECD countries (OECD 2003) # 1 in Government Online (Accenture 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004) OECD

5 Canada is already well-positioned Korea Broadband subscribers per 100 inhabitants Top 10 countries, December Canada 14.8 Iceland 14.5 Denmark 13.1 Belgium Netherlands DSL Cable Switzerland 11.4 Other * * Sweden 10.8 Japan 10.7 United States 9.8 * Ethernet LANs, two-way direct satellite, fiber to the home, and fixed wireless. Source: OECD OECD

6 Broadband connectivity: The Challenges Served Communities 1747 (32%) Unserved Communities 3679 (68%) As of Aug km OECD

7 Objectives: Broadband for Rural And Northern Development Pilot Program, launched in 2002 To provide funding to unserved communities to prepare business plans that detail the need for broadband services in their communities To implement broadband services that will address the needs of these communities in the areas of education, health and governance To create opportunities for learning by sharing best practices among communities To demonstrate and validate the benefits of broadband in unleashing the full innovative potential of communities across Canada To create new business opportunities, domestically and globally, OECD

8 Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Projects 58 projects 884 communities (116 FN communities) $80 M OECD

9 National Satellite Initiative (NSI) A $155 million partnership between Industry Canada, Infrastructure Canada and the Canadian Space Agency Created to lower the ongoing cost of broadband access for communities in the Far and mid-north, and in isolated and remote areas of Canada, where satellite is the only reasonable means of providing broadband access $ 20 million of satellite capacity has already been allocated to 51 communities OECD

10 Canada s Broadband Approach: The Benefits $2 leveraged for every $1 invested Community driven, local leadership, capacity building Clear role for the private sector Sustainable networks Open access Commercially neutral process Partnerships within governments OECD

11 Needs for broadband in Rural Canada 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Education Commerce Economic Development Health Government Community Access Employment Population Retention Youth Tourism Cultural Home Business Tele- Commute Justice Percent of Broadband Pilot Program business plans OECD

12 What Canadians are doing with broadband access? Rolling out fibre in the mountainous southeast BC interior allows doctors to diagnose patients on reserve remotely with a broadband enabled stethoscope. Markham, ON based Redline Communications won the contract to supply the broadband radios for the Wheatbelt Project in Southwest Manitoba. Students in Melita are guided through the high speed web to learning resources made possible via this competitive Canadian technology. The Broadband Pilot Programfunded CMON project will connect many remote BC communities with fibre. OECD

13 Broadband Is Basic Infrastructure So that communities can: Capitalize on transformative effects of ICTs Create economic opportunities Enhance social cohesion OECD

14 What We Have Learned Need a vision Build high-level political will Involve stakeholders through partnership Develop sustainable projects Foster competition Measure, learn from our successes and failures Recognize and share best practices OECD

15 Sustainable broadband for all communities OECD

16 For more details on Canada s Broadband Approach: OECD

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