A pair of regional organizations are applauding CRTC ruling this week, which deems broadband internet access as an essential service.
In a joint press release, the Eastern Ontario Warden’s Caucus and Eastern Ontario Regional Network, say the ruling aligns with their ongoing efforts to close the gaps in internet service across this part of the province.
The two groups estimate about one-sixth of areas in rural Eastern Ontario are cellular dead zones, which they say has a major effect on the region’s economy and quality of life.
The EOWC and EORN are in the process of seeking upper government support for a $200 million private-public initiative, which would provide broadband internet service to 99% of the region.
In its ruling, the CRTC set a benchmark for internet speeds, which is currently met by about 82% of households across the country.
The communications regulator wants to see that increased to 90% by 2021 and to 100% within the next 10 to 15 years.