Canada jumps on the broadband stimulus train

Taking a page from the Obama Administration's Broadband Stimulus Program, Canada is also jumping into the broadband stimulus fray. Industry Canada, a government-led agency responsible for economic development and innovation, has issued a call-for-applications for the government's "Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians" initiative. Launched in July, this initiative is part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, which gives $225 million to Industry Canada for the development and implementation of a strategy to extend and improve broadband coverage.

While the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) reported that broadband had penetrated 94 percent of Canadian households, 22 percent of rural households are still without broadband access. To help improve broadband availability, Industry Canada said it will favor applications that place an emphasis on bringing broadband services to "unserved" customers. The agency defines unserved as those subscribers that either have dial-up service or no Internet access at all. In addition, applicants will be required to show how their particular proposal can deliver customer value and a sound business model.  

Applications are due to Industry Canada by Oct. 23, and winners will be announced either late this year or early next year, with projects set to begin in 2010. Under the plan, winners will get federal government support at up to 50 percent of cost for network equipment purchases and hardware/software upgrades, as well as long-term network capacity investment costs.

For more:
- Satellite TODAY has this article

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