The federal government says it’s on track to exceed its goal of providing high-speed internet access to 98 percent of Canadian households by 2026.
In a press release shared on December 28th, the government revealed that 93.5 percent of Canadian households have access to high-speed internet, up from just 79 percent in 2014. Based on current projections, the feds expect 98.6 percent of households will have access by 2026.
The government attributes the success to various things, including the $3.225 billion Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) and investments made by both the federal government and various provincial governments.
The UBF launched in November 2020. Since then, the government has announced 295 UBF projects across the country, including 45 projects just in 2023 that will serve over 200,000 households.
Alongside the UBF, the feds have entered co-funding partnerships with Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta, B.C., and P.E.I. to connect more households. Many of these provinces have made “significant progress” toward universal connectivity, with Quebec already achieving the goal of offering high-speed internet access to all residents in the province. Many other provinces are very close to achieving the same goal.
While the progress is good news, it’s worth noting that the government’s goal is to provide access to internet speeds of at least 50Mbps download and 10Mbps upload. With our increasingly online world, these speeds might not be enough in some cases.
Still, the connectivity effort has proven meaningful for many communities, with the government sharing several examples in the press release about how internet access has enabled people to access telehealth services that weren’t previously available. In another example, the improved connectivity helped revitalize a community’s tourism industry.
You can read more details here.