Let’s #TalkBroadband Internet: Discussion Forum Comments

Canadians shared their views on the services they need to participate in the digital economy. The discussion forum was open from April 11-28, 2016.

View comments that were made in French

How can it be ensured that Canadians’ basic telecommunications needs are met?

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Cathy Edwards - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 09:26

The message of the Canadian Association of Community Television Users and Stations (CACTUS) in this proceeding is that while it is crucial that all Canadians have broadband access, access to 'the pipes' is only half the opportunity and challenge. The other half is to ensure that all Canadians have access to digital skills training to leverage those pipes.
It's a bit like the push in the 1970s to ensure that all Canadians were linked via CBC broadcasting. More than 600 towers were built across the country. Had those towers not had transmitters and content radiating from them, the towers themselves would have been pointless.
It's the same with broadband. Simultaneous to initiatives to extend broadband coverage, we must:
- ensure the availability of local and Canadian content and its 'discoverability' on the Internet
- ensure that Canadians and individuals, citizens, operators of small businesses and not-for-profits have the skills to leverage the Internet to serve them.
CACTUS has been underlining the need since 2009 of community-access media centres within reach of all Canadians where we can go to learn web design, how to access information, and how to create audio, video and gaming content. Public libraries have taken initial steps in this direction (by offering 'maker spaces' and 'hacklabs') but much more needs to be done. Community media practitioners with specific audio-visual and design skillsets are needed to bring the full potential of the web to Canadians for their own self-expression and to fully leverage the economic and communicative potential of the Internet.
To this end, there needs to be co-ordination among Canadian Heritage, the new Ministry of Infrastructure and Communities; Science Innovation and Economic Development; and Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
This is what CACTUS is doing. For more information, see cactus.independentmedia.ca.
Cathy Edwards
Executive Director
(819) 456-2237

Tatarync - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 09:44

Leaving anything at all up to telecommunication providers (The Big Three) has been historically awful for the Canadian consumer. Unfortunately, the CRTC is nothing but a puppet of the oligopoly, and is clearly unable to oppose them.

If you want a decent system to be put in place, you have to do away with the current system. That will never happen, obviously, so until the government finds a suitable replacement for the CRTC, we Canadians will continue smiling while they bleed us dry.

pklein - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 10:11

Let me summarize the process:
1. Hold hearings to determine what's best for Canadians (Access, Quality of Service, etc) with respect to Broadband.
2. Solicit comments from Canadians
3. Produce report with recommendations
4. Tell Canadians that they deserve better
5. Do nothing about it, don't enforce any of the recommendations.
6. Hold hearings on something else...
Am I missing anything here? What is the point? What does the CRTC do for the consumer? Nothing.

p2bc14 - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 12:57

You can ensure that Canadian's basic telecommunications needs are met by breaking up the oligopoly. I don't know if anyone from the CRTC has looked at the prices of their cell phone plans recently, but it can't be a coincidence that they are EXACTLY the same. If that isn't some sort of collusion or price fixing, I don't know what is. Also, the prices are absolutely ridiculous for what we're getting. Other first world countries provide much better price per service. Take the US for example, it arguably has similar population density and they are able to provide a 10GB data plan, with unlimited talk and text for less than $60/month on most major carriers. Do you want to tell me what Rogers "deal" is? You can get a whopping 9GB of data for the low low price of $125/month! How is that even remotely fair?! We're supposed to be one of the leading countries in the world... and yet our telecommunications services and prices are comparable to third-world countries. I'm not even going to include TV and Internet plans in this rant, but know that they are equally ridiculous! Yes, I get that Rogers, Bell, and Telus (known as Robelus for the rest of this rant) make billions and billions of dollars and I'm sure the CRTC would love some of that cheddar, but you're a government service that's supposed to be ensuring that Canadians are getting fair, reliable, and appropriate services. Well, they're not fair, they're not reliable. They're unreliable and way, way too expensive for what we get. So CRTC... take Robelus' hands out of your pockets and do something for the citizens of this fine country instead of helping Robelus bend us over.

rondyn - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 13:52

We are moving to a wireless world. As the capacity and speed of wireless systems increases, I can see a world in the near future where companies abandon their expensive and difficult to maintain wired systems and switch to wireless only. I don't see replacing cooper wires with optical finite to the home as a long-term solution. The future will be wireless. High-speed wireless internet will dominate, and we will all switch again to a different platform to use exclusively in connecting Internet, TV, phone and other services. The existing service providers will aggressively protect their turf to keep the customer bases they have now, and that means the high cost for those services will just be transferred to this new paradigm. Many would like to promote existing wireless technology currently used for cell phone and mobile data as the future wireless connections for TV, Internet and home phone.
It doesn't have to be this way. If the federal, provincial and municipal governments considered the Internet Highway as vital as the existing road highways then new wifi infrastructure costs could be more effectively controlled, and the infrastructure would belong to and benefit all Canadians. Internet connections in the home would be made directly from one's computer to a government high-speed wifi connection close by. Companies like Aruba (owned by Hewlett Packard) are already selling outdoor wifi systems they claim to have speeds up to 2.5 Gigabits per second (see: http://www.arubanetworks.com/products/networking/access-points/330-series/). It would be easy for municipalities to install these systems everywhere on the top of power poles or light standards, and local residents would be able to connect without any cables running to their homes or be forced to buy or rent any modems.
Companies like Rogers and Bell could still provide services like cell phones, but would be relegated to content providers for the TV and movie products they own and license. This would truly bring in a pick-and-pay system where "all-you-can-eat" systems like Netflix would compete side by side with single show/movie rentown systems like Apple TV. This system is more in line with what customers truly want. By controlling the delivery system (wireless wifi everywhere), governments could eliminate the oversight regulation of content and leave it up to the consumer to pick and choose what they want to watch. This is the only system that makes any sense moving forward.
Years ago, the federal government connected almost every school and library in Canada with Internet fibre optic cable connections (CANARIE system). Upgrading and deploying local rural and neighbourhood wifi connections to that backbone would truly make Canada one of the few countries in the world with inexpensive high-speed internet available everywhere. This, in my opinion, is the most valuable infrastructure project that this or any future government could undertake to transform the Canadian economy.
Because many rural residents have been under-serviced, they, instead of high-population municipalities, should be placed on the priority list for this new service. This would mean that residents in Plaster Rock NB, for example, would finally be able to get the true high-speed internet service that has been denied them because both Bell and Rogers have decided that offering the high-speed internet and additional TV channels, that the rest of us enjoy, is not cost effective in this rural community.
As municipalities that have done this have found (See CBC article: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/fast-fibre-optic-internet-arrives-in-m...), average cost to the consumer comes in at $50 or less for unlimited Internet at fiber optic speeds. This service could easily handle Internet, TV, home phone and other services, like security alarm systems. Subsidies for low income families could lower that price to as little as $10 per month. But the most important thing is that the system would not be driven for profit and the only shareholders would be the Canadian public who would also be the primary beneficiaries of such a system.
We would never ask private companies to build and maintain the Trans Canada Highway. Why would we ask private companies to build and maintain Canada's Trans Canada WIFI Highway.

Jonathan_Ratzlaff - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 23:10

Both Federal and Provincial governments have moved to internet communications with their citizens. For example the Government of Canada no longer supplies their employees with paper T4 slips. If you do not have access to the compensation websites, you have to get this information directly from the CRA. Both government have online reporting requirements.
So if the government has an expectation that its citizens utlilize government services via the internet, it also follows that they need to set a minimum standard for high speed internet so that all Canadians have access to Government information and services.
The CRTC needs to step up to the plate to ensure that there is a minimum standard. If a company, advertises that it provides both high speed and reliable service, the CRTC should not insist that the company is following an equitable distribution policy, instead of following up that the service provided is not providing a reliable service.
One of the primary mandates is that telecommunications providers provide a service to consumers as advertised. They are not there to defend service providers that are being subsidized with federal funds to provide service to rural customers.

Regular Joe - Monday, April 18, 2016 - 16:32

1) Should it be up to the telecommunications service providers to decide when to provide a minimum standard?
Of course not. Letting Telcos decide minimum standards is akin to asking the wolf to watch over the sheep. An independent body with public and goverment representation should do this.
2) Is ensuring a minimum standard a fundamental need and as such should it be up to governments to fund this directly?
Yes, a minimum standard is a basic right. If Telcos want to be in the business, they can figure out how to fund it. Just ensure their funding plans are submitted to an independent body for approval.

3) Should the CRTC establish a fund to subsidize broadband Internet in underserved/unserved areas and require telecommunications service providers to contribute to this fund?
Who pays for road services in underserved areas now? Can we adopt the same approach?

4) Should prices be similar in rural and urban areas for broadband services?
Yes, prices must be similar. They need not be identical. There are advantages and disadvantages of living in rural vs urban areas, and fresh air and price differential are just two of them. But we shouldn't allow Telcos to go crazy over that.

Hank Rankin - Monday, April 18, 2016 - 19:42

As a result, the CRTC has set a target speed for broadband Internet access across Canada (Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-291). By the end of 2015, the CRTC expects all Canadians to have access to broadband speeds of at least:
5 Mbps for downloads (data that consumers are receiving from the Internet, including files, web sites, pictures, music, and movies)
1 Mbps for uploads (data that consumers are sending to the Internet)
The CRTC expects this target will be met through a combination of private investments, government funding and public-private partnerships.

This policy was adopted by the CRTC in May, 2011. It is a target obviously unmet as no enforcement was possible. If Broadband access is to be delivered at a reasonable speed to every household in Canada there is only one way to do it—by statute. I can think of no private service which has ever been offered evenly to 100% of a population and there is no reason to believe this can change. Broadband access must be considered as a universal service and its supply must include standards to be enforced by regulations similar to those governing EI, CPP, Canada Post, Medicare, etc.
Why should Broadband be considered a universal service? Governments in Canada are making it increasingly difficult to access their services and information by any other means. Take the CRA as one example. In 2014 78% of Canadians filing tax returns did so electronically. At one time the former Revenue Canada distributed paper forms to all taxpayers without cost. However, when more and more Canadians filed electronically, the CRA decided to contract out the relevant software when they should, of course, have provided it free of charge to all taxpayers as it was the electronic replacement for paper. They could have done this, I suspect, for an even cheaper price than the printing of millions of paper forms. In short they created an industry which favoured some taxpayers over others as most private industries do. Currently only Studio Tax comes close to being “CRA” friendly software.
In my own province, BC Online is the gateway to most provincial government information and it makes no bones about charging more for individual access to records than for corporate access—records for the most part amassed by my tax dollars. I am part of the roughly 19% of Canadians who live in rural areas; my home is on a small Pacific island with a permanent population of around 950 persons. We are supplied with Broadband by Telus and have experienced no real upgrades for the past 10 years. I have surveyed around 30 of my neighbours in different spots on the island and their Broadband speeds ranged from 0.5 Mbps to 3 Mbps. My own speed has been relatively constant at 3 Mbps after Telus installed a POTS splitter. Telus advertises it's basic service as 1.5– 6.0 Mbps; 11 of my neighbours were below 1.5 Mbps yet being charged for the basic High Speed service. Some inhabitants have been told directly that they cannot have High Speed Broadband at all because of distance from Telus “Central” on the island or because there are not enough “ports” available. This situation still persists and all of these instances still pertain although I must mention that the two homes right next to Telus “Central” on the island both receive around 26 Mbps service! To add insult to injury the cost of our service has risen nearly every year for the past 4 or 5 years; it began at $30 and now is $55.
I have contacted Telus agents, the Telus Board, the Telus Ethics supervisor, and the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) with my observations and measurements to absolutely no effect whatsoever. Telus refuses to put dates to any improvement in service and admonsihes us to “wait for Optik” which as I am led to understand, is somewhat disingenuous as there has been optic cable to Telus “Central” on the island for some years now; the equipment necessary and the subsidary lines have never been installed.
In the current atmosphere of “market fundamentalism” universal services have become “entitlements” wasted on lazy, selfish citizens. Those of us who sometimes find that Canada Post will charge half what Fedex or UPS does to deliver a package to the boonies are written off as naive, ill-informed and tone-deaf; there is no way that a Crown Corporation could ever be more “efficient” than a private one. I am not clear whether the Telecommunications Act gives the CRTC the ability to regulate and enforce universal service. But there will be no substitute for a Parliamentary Statute requiring Broadband service to be a universal service.

Regular Joe - Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 17:28

Should the CRTC establish a fund to subsidize broadband Internet in underserved/unserved areas and require telecommunications service providers to contribute to this fund?
All businesses and institutions (not just telco service providers) which deals with the public and
1) Have an internet presence, or
2) Encourage the public to deal with them via the internet
should be levied a fee/tax to subsidise the development of basic service. The fee can be based on different measures e.g. estimates of the units of broadband their industry use, similar to how Workers Comp insurance rates are arrived at.

rural_accountant - Monday, April 25, 2016 - 18:59

Certainly, leaving service decisions on rural internet (the urban areas are well-served and need no assistance, save perhaps for low-income households) to Bell, Telus, Shaw and Rogers is simply an untenable proposition. They exist to feed profits to their shareholders and have no interest in low-profit, high-cost, high-degree-of-difficulty installations. That's fine - we don't need them in rural Canada.
What we DO need is a considerable investment on the part of all Canadians to ensure that rural Canada gets its service, too. A $1 "rural development fee" charged to each consumer monthly on telecomm services - with all of the funding routed to the existing small WISPs and other small ISPs serving rural Canada will do more than all the massive dollars poured out to Big Cable/Tel.
Let small business handle it - they hire people locally, they service locally and they know their environments. I live in rural BC and the WISPs here do the best they can - the geography is very difficult, hills, lakes, trees and challenging terrain. But with a steady supply of dollars, perhaps those of us who live in places like this can also run and develop our business in the country.
Big Cable and Big Tel have shown their interest: none. Fine - forget them.
Now it's time for small business to be given the opportunity, with the assistance, and the blessing of the CRTC and Industry Canada. Clearly that is the ONLY way forward.

rural_accountant - Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 17:16

I've read stories about people in the UK digging community trenches for fibre installations. A sample story is here - and there are many others similar: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-21442348

Perhaps what is really needed in those areas that "could" be serviced, but which Big Tel/Cable ignore, is for communities to gather together, with support from Universities or Colleges (SAIT, BCIT eg) and to implant their own systems. Fibre in and of itself isn't very expensive. Installing it can be -- but if neighbours support each other by allowing transfer of fibre conduit across their lands, perhaps all of us in smaller communities can tie in to the backbone. And many of us have tractors or backhoes for trench-digging. Network professionals are not difficult to find - and many live in rural Canada.

Yes - we'd need some government leadership and support for permits etc. (where required), but I would be a happy volunteer for such a project! Government can also provide fibre connections to (say) libraries in certain communities, and the groups wanting access could take it from there.

And maybe that is the ultimate answer: community groups gathering together to provide our own access, independent (as far as can be) of big Tel/Cable.

HaliStudent - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 15:23

Should it be up to the telecommunications service providers to decide when to provide a minimum standard (i.e. reliance on market forces to dictate when there is a business case to do so)?
No, judging from how the TSPs have been acting over the past decade there is no way we should allow them to decide when to provide a minimum standard. The utility that broadband internet gives canadians is far too great to leave to market forces, if left to market forces alone our rural and northern communities get left in the dark and unconnected.

Is ensuring a minimum standard a fundamental need and as such should it be up to governments to fund this directly?
Yes, absolutly. Ensuring that Canadians have a minimum standard of broadband connection should be seen as a fundamental need, especially considering how Canadians are using the internet. Without a minimum standard we are limiting our access to news, finding health information, finding goverment services, banking, buying and selling products, entertainment, and even connecting with another person through social media.

Should the CRTC establish a fund to subsidize broadband Internet in underserved/unserved areas and require telecommunications service providers to contribute to this fund?
If that's what it takes then yes, given the $8.4 Billion in revenue from internet services maybe the CRTC could limit the prices that we're paying for internet access. Broadband internet in underservered areas should be funded in part by TSPs, the CRTC, and some level of goverment.

Should prices be similar in rural and urban areas for broadband services?
Because of the cost associated with developing broadband services in rural areas, the cost should be slightly higher to help offset the development cost. However, the cost of broadband services should not be so high that it would be unaffordable for some.

Omega - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 17:02

Question #1
No. They cannot be relied upon. If 20+ years of ratcheting costs and abuse of public trust isn't enough to make a case, then I'm not sure the CRTC can be considered impartial. We see the results of any degree of laissez faire all around us today and it is literally why we are having to talk about this subject today.

Question #2
Governments would be well within their rights and very wise to mandate a nation-wide minimum rate of transfer and to outlaw data caps outright without exception. The private sector has enough money (read: profits) from years of gouging Canadians. If they haven't been improving their systems by reinvesting some of that money, but instead socking it away for personal gain, why should Canadians suffer?
In many cases it's not even a matter of building new infrastructure, but simply removing arbitrary bandwidth caps, dictated more by marketing and promotional initiatives than technical or infrastructural challenges. Further, the Governement and CRTC should be extra careful when listening to arguments made by telecommunications companies. All too often they get away with derailing the discussion on a false dilemma or without substantiating their claims at a technical level.

Question #3
The CRTC and Canadian Government should subsidize broadband in underserved areas. I don't see any issues with this being fulfilled by a private company although they would have to deliver it according to the national standard I outlined above.

Question #4
Rural and urban customers have every reason both morally and technically to expect the same minimum of internet service and price. Again, the CRTC should be more diligent in vetting any concerns expressed by telecommunications companies as it pertains to the cost to deploy or upgrade infrastructure.

frogtalk - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 18:46

Should it be up to the telecommunications service providers to decide when to provide a minimum standard (i.e. reliance on market forces to dictate when there is a business case to do so)? Not a chance, we have that now, and the telecommunications industry has a supposedly first world country with third world internet speeds, rates and coverage.
Is ensuring a minimum standard a fundamental need and as such should it be up to governments to fund this directly? Ensuring a minimum standard is ESSENTIAL so that Canada doesn't fall further behind the digital world. Should governments fund this directly?? I am not sure how governments would fund standards. Maybe enforcing the standards, the gov't should fund. However, I believe that violations should start at a miniumn of $100,000 and go up from there.
Should the CRTC establish a fund to subsidize broadband Internet in underserved/unserved areas and require telecommunications service providers to contribute to this fund? Yes, and IMO the telecommunications service providers should pay for the WHOLE THING.
Should prices be similar in rural and urban areas for broadband services? Absolutely, since I'm going on the assumption that rural areas will NOT have the same speed and bandwidth as urban areas.

CUPW-STTP - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 19:04

You should consider the viability of the public posta system to deliver to both rural and urban markets. In fact, that is part of its mandate under the Canada Post Act.
The Canada Post Act requires that Canada Post is “to establish and operate a postal service for the collection, transmission and delivery of messages, information, funds and goods both within Canada and between Canada and places outside Canada.’
Further, it states that, “while maintaining basic customary postal service, the Corporation, in carrying out its objects, shall have regard to
o (a) the desirability of improving and extending its products and services in the light of developments in the field of communications;”
We believe that the pubic have not been entirely well-served by the private sector monopolies currently. The mandate of Canada Post is to improve and extend “products and services in the light of developments in the field of communications’. This national, successful and respected public system could and should provide such services the same way it does mail. Affordable and reliable.

Public Hearing

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JF Bérubé - Monday, April 11, 2016 - 15:38

If the CRTC is really serious about broadband Internet maybe it should start by making sure CPAC provides a stream of this very hearing that can actually be watched. Not some crappy stream that keeps cutting in and out.

Doc Rak - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 10:04

Telcos are making billions in profits. They have bought up all the small TV stations, sport teams, and sports stadiums in Canada. They have more money than they know what to do with and yet we the customer get screwed by them daily. If you like sports, watch movies, have a cell phone and regular phone you could be paying $200-$400 a month for this privilege. Some one making minimum wage in Ontario only makes $450 a month before taxes that sound perfectly right to me(<----sarcasm). Even with min services your bill is still close to $100 for what are not the basics of life; a telephone, internet and basic TV (equivilant to over the air signals).
Realisticaly its near impossible to mandate minimum service requirements in Canada due to many factors, primary amount them being ifrastructure. Even my apprtment building wont support high speed in the top floors due to the cooper lines.
That being said the cost of internet service has been increasing steadily for no justiyable reason. If the CRTC can or is unable to control the TELCOM companies then open up the system to enhanced copetition. They the free market drive the price.
These people only understand one thing, cut your cord.

BravoRomeo - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 10:50

I live in rural Ontario, and we don't have access to affordable high-speed internet. In fact, high-speed and affordable don't go hand-in-hand as our unreliable "satellite" internet is almost three times what people in suburban areas pay for more than ten times the speed. Canada’s incumbent local exchange carrier monopoly simply refuses to offer high-speed in my area, while another popular cable telecommunications company audaciously offered to “run a line” to my area for $250,000. Yes, that’s six figures. Affordable, high-speed internet should be available to all Canadians, especially those that don’t have 250 grand laying around.

James - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 12:08

Break up the oligopoly. All three national providers routinely set identical pricing for cellphone and internet plans, simply because users have little other options.

In areas like Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec, where there *are* other options, prices are dramatically lower for the national providers.

Cellphones and internet are no longer a luxury; they are practically a utility. The telecommunication companies ought to be resricted in the fees they charge, especially with such high profits.

Allow either a true free market system, and open up competition from the world, or have a national infrastructure that does not profit.

Omega - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 17:38

I'll be honest, even on the prairies, our prices are terrible. Not as bad as other areas, no. But I wouldn't hold us up as the golden standard either.

JF Bérubé - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 13:02

In fact, I suspect CPAC purposely makes the stream crappy and unwatchable because it is operated by BDUs and BDUs want status quo on Internet access in Canada. They do not want us to watch this hearing.

JF Bérubé - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 13:04

In fact, I suspect CPAC purposely makes the stream crappy and unwatchable because it is operated by BDUs and BDUs want status quo on Internet access in Canada. They do not want us to watch this hearing.

JDoe - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 13:10

I have to agree wholeheartedly with James. Either we break up the oligopoly and put legislation in place to increase industry competition or we nationalize the industry entirely and regulate it as a utility. The current state of affairs is no better than a monopoly with the amount of price signalling and implicit collusion that occurs in the marketplace. I don't think most Canadians, regardless of ideology, will care which direction you pick.

Trish - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 09:39

The way that the moderator referred to the fact that this hearing is about "basic" services...are we in rural communities to interpret this as: "well, you receive email - so what's the problem?" The internet has changed. The use of the internet has changed. What about traffic management policies? Has this issue been discussed? If rural subscribers pay for "up to" 5 MBPS, and certainly receive near 70-80% of that 5 MBPS between the hours of 1am and 6 am, but in the evenings, ie: 6 pm thru 10 pm, these people receive between 2% and 30% of that 5 MBPS...does that mean that broadband internet service providers have lived up to their end of the bargain? Of course it currently does. Here's a thought: how about a minimum, a consistent minimum, that the rural consumer can expect in that service agreement?

Omega - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 17:40

I agree. This notion of a "basic" service sounds like a nice way for the telecommunications companies to compartmentalize any risks from these proceedings.
We should be having a discussion about the quality of internet for all Canadians. Not about creating digital ghettos operated by the same people creating all our problems.

Anoni Mouse - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 10:26

And this morning someone mentioned that VPN does not work on satellite, can Xplorenet support VPNs?

Anoni Mouse - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 10:23

They keep mentioning a fixed plan and a capped plan. What speed does Xplorenet slow customers down to once they reach their cap in the fixed plan?

alihauck - Monday, April 18, 2016 - 16:44

yes they do and are happy to do it

clogan2 - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 10:39

Eliminate voice subsidies on the grounds that Xplornet can provide VoIP over satellite? That's laughable, VoIP over satellite is NOT a viable alternative. In fact, VoIP with Xplornet in general is not a viable alternative due to the limitations with reliability of 911 on VoIP, and the reliability of their service during power outages.

Trish - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 10:41

I don't mind paying for any satellite internet package that exceeds our current up to 5 Mbps download speed, but because of the "up to" descriptor, and lack of the minimum speed expectation definition, my reluctancy to increase lies with "up to" say, 10 MBPS could still mean 8-10 MBPS while I sleep, and 150 - 600 KBPS during primetime internet usage periods, ie 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. We have tracked our download speeds via testmy.net - the speed test utility actually recommended by Xplornet Communications, almost consistently at half hour intervals since April 3, and can provide you these results in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet format if it will help.

Trish - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 10:46

Ceilings are nice, but what about floors...How about say, up to 5 MBPS, fine, but minimum expectancy at 2 or 2.5 MBPS
Please provide the consumer with a clear definition of the product limitations

End of the road - Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 10:45

Good idea. I have been told that 1 Mbps is all I can expect living in the north. I love technology but all the good stuff disappears when you are waiting and waiting and waiting just to log on. Minimums would at least give us something as a consumer to fight for.

Trish - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 11:48

Well said - great data

Sunbear - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 13:12

I've heard talk of a demand for northern communities to have higher internet speeds. I'd like to raise a voice for those living BETWEEN communities (or just outside city limits even). Our family lives just outside Whitehorse, YT city limits. The fastest internet we can obtain is up-to-5MBs. Whitehorse and all other communities in the Yukon already have access to MUCH greater speeds. Why have we been, and continue to be, left out? Shouldn't we be provided with higher Internet speeds comparable with what northern communities are already receiving before northern communities receive further increases?

Trish - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 15:21

The commission is not seen as being at fault where broadband services to rural customers is concerned; this hearing is not about right or wrong. This is, or should be, about fairness and transparency. The commission is viewed by many as being the voice, the representative, the advocate of the people where telecommunications and media are involved. This commission currently has a unique opportunity to perhaps improve the state of broadband internet services as these are currently being provided to Canadian consumers in rural areas.
I would also like to address the recent discussion surrounding Netflix ...it seems that Netflix is being offered up as the antonym of what essential internet is. Netflix, besides movies, also offers a whole host of educational documentaries and mind-expanding programs, such as Ted Talks. As a professor in an Ontario college, I sometimes turn to Netflix to review documentaries it offers which fall in line with some of the subjects I speak on, which I could share with or recommend to my students. Netflix requires a minimum of 2 or 2.5 MBPS to run properly, however. Despite paying for "up to" 5 MBPS download speeds, I very rarely am able, in my rural location, to watch an hour-long documentary without being bumped off, freezing, buffering, or seeing error messages. This is frustrating and discouraging. What about downloading PDFs or other extensive files? Imaging how long an 8 MB file will take when speeds lower to 150KBPS? A while, and sometimes these transfers will cut out.
Other considerations include YouTube and Skype...
If an ISP is offering a service, I feel that all the parameters of this service should be explained to the deciding consumer, so that they may make an informed decision. I think that a clear value should be given to the low end, the floor if you will, of download speeds. A minimum. This will solve a lot of debate - a lot of complaints. Its all well and good to say: UP TO, but how about NO SLOWER THAN. Otherwise, these current practices are not very different than a car saleman saying: "here's your new car, and we may or may not, from time to time, include the engine...but hey, because it has an engine "some of the time", we will sell it to you as a car with an engine"

Steven Dobirstein - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 15:42

The state of rural Canadian internet is a colossal embarrasment and I have serious doubts the CRTC is willing or able to take the steps neccessary to turn that around. It is not an exaggeration at this point to say that, when looking at a combination of services offered measured against cost to the consumer, Canada now has the worst rural internet in the entire developed world.

Serious measures are neccessary to reverse this trend. There is no real sign anyone is prepared to take them.

The CRTC's own metric of a speed goal for all rural Canadians to have access to is rendered utterly meaningless by the fact they only enforce this limit as a *theoretical maximum*, not a guaranteed minimum. Xplornet says "yeah you could get 5Mbps on this connection in theory", where in practice you will never, ever see that speed during daytime hours. If you want to video conference at 3 in the morning, this is not an issue. In the real world, it's a joke. More realistically you will receive 1 Mbps or less during evenings. This is nearly universally true on such a service. This is not acceptable, through any amount of spin doctoring to claim otherwise.

Let's also put aside the 5 Mbps target is, frankly, already 5 years behind the times. It's an absudely low target. And we're not even remotely close to meeting even that.

I'm also concerned the CRTC also still seems unwilling to address the issue of completely unreasonable monthly bandwidth limits, which continue to be a well noted and internationally embarrassing feature of the Canadian internet industry. We're now in an era where 4K video is entering into the online market, an era where a single major video game title can be 60 GB in size or more. In this climate, it is not uncommon for rural Candian customers using a service such as Xplornet to have a MONTHY cap of less than 50 GB. This is, frankly, beyond insane. And it's shameful that it is allowed to continue. Satellite internet is also totally unsuitable for many multi-person activities due to the nature of its design giving a ludicdously high ping. These sort of caps are, at best, very difficult to justify without highly questionable-to-outright-junk science, and at worst are just blatantly stealing from the consumer. This has to stop. I've seen very little willingness to address this.

I personally am paying $78 per month for a connection from Xplornet that provides me a ridiculous 30 GB per month total limit, a theoretical max speed of 5 Mbps (which is often only 10-20% of that during daytime hours, never more than 25% at the best of times), and the connection is woefully unstable, easily disrupted by every single east coast weather event. This is not abnormal for rural Canada. This is the best plan available in my area by far. The "big three" of Bell, Telus, and Rogers cannot even be bothered between them to provide a single serious internet option whatsoever. There is absolutely no value for dollar to rural customers. We are being gouged. Terribly.

This internet industry is completely out of control in this country. especially in rural areas, If the CRTC isn't capable of getting them in line to provide some genuine service to paying customers, then someone needs to step in and create a new body that can. The current state of things in this country is a joke and an embarrasment. I for one amd completely and totally dissatisfied with the current state of affairs, and I hold out hope, however faint, that something will be done to reign in copmanies that are totally out of control and gouing customers in ways that are nearly akin to legalized theft.

James Purkis - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 19:26

The main now is not to debate all these issues and involve many people and costs in doing so, it to simply implement the 2011 policy initiatives now as the end of 2015 deadline has passed. Please stop talking and commit the funding to implement solutions now and measure how late this is relative to the commitment already set!
thank you.
Macedonian Village - Request for High Speed Internet
Dear Sir/Madam
Please can you promptly confirm the planned date to implement a fibre connection or alternative similar high speed reliable solution for Internet in our community? Macedonian Village in the Town of Whitby is a small enclave in the suburbs of Whitby. Due to its location on the edge of a conservation area, as the Town of Whitby has progressively developed since the 1970's, Macedonian Village has seen little if no change except for a significant increase in local taxes. Presently, Bell cannot supply the 77 homes in the village with a telephone line DSL connection as there are insufficient lines available. Even the lucky few properties with a Bell connection do not have a reliable connection and can only obtain at best a download speed of 1.5Mbps and upload 0.3Mbps. There is presently considerable development in the Town of Whitby and Brooklin surrounding our community with Fibre Internet as a basic item to the new homes.
The basic minimum level defined by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission back in 2011 has not been achieved for our community by the end of 2015. It appears we are being treated different to the rest of the Town of Whitby and Canada. Enough is enough, this can't continue and we request that a clear action plan to implement a long term reliable high speed internet solution in 2016 is committed to by Bell.
Extract from CRTC (http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/internet/performance.htm )
How fast is fast? A broadband target speed
The CRTC recognizes that a well-developed broadband infrastructure is essential to help Canadians participate in the digital economy.
As a result, the CRTC has set a target speed for broadband Internet access across Canada (Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-291). By the end of 2015, the CRTC expects all Canadians to have access to broadband speeds of at least:
• 5 Mbps for downloads (data that consumers are receiving from the Internet, including files, web sites, pictures, music, and movies)
• 1 Mbps for uploads (data that consumers are sending to the Internet)
• Clauses:
▪ 76. To accommodate such uses, the Commission considers that the appropriate target speeds for broadband Internet access service are a minimum of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. The Commission notes that, while many Canadians in urban areas already have access to broadband Internet services at or above these target speeds, such speeds are not currently available to most Canadians in rural and remote areas.
▪ 77. The Commission further considers that the target speeds are to be the actual speeds delivered, not merely those advertised. That stated, the Commission recognizes that the broadband Internet access speeds actually experienced by users are affected by a wide range of factors, some of which are outside the control of the network provider.
▪ 78. The Commission expects that the target speeds set out above will be available to all Canadian homes, regardless of their geographic location, through a range of technologies. For example, new satellite technology will soon be available to increase the footprint and quality of satellite broadband Internet access offerings, and numerous wireless network providers are expanding the reach of their latest network technologies, which promise greater speeds to more Canadians at reasonable rates.
▪ 79. With respect to the date for achieving the target speeds, the Commission considers that, based on the record of this proceeding, the end of 2015 is appropriate. In establishing this date, the Commission has taken into account the current reach of existing networks, as well as plans for network expansion by several carriers and other submissions made by parties during the proceeding.

Please acknowledge receipt of this letter and confirm when a reply answering our query will be provided
Yours sincerely
Macedonia Village Action for Internet Group

Grizelda L - Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 19:34

The current state of rural internet is obscene. Internet providers should be required to offer broadband without data caps to all rural areas, for the same price these services are offered in more populace areas. We just moved to rural northern Ontario and after looking into internet plans, I am appalled by by the lack of availability. It's like we walked off the map! Are we living in some 3rd world country? If we had known we could only get 25G of data chugging in on a slow satellite connection, we might have chosen to live elsewhere.
Justin Trudeau promised high speed internet in rural Canada and I expect him to come through on that promise.

browneyes55 - Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 22:35

The internet in the north is not good at all. We pay for high speed internet and do not receive even close to that. The intenet cuts out alot and freezes the computer.

gmilkweed - Friday, April 15, 2016 - 11:52

Canada's vast size, small population and harsh climate conditions are a major factor in the provisioning of telecom and interent services. Building networks is extremely expensive and I think the industry players have done a reasonable job in providing services to the majority of Canadians. If building networks was cheap and simply, more companies would be building the physical infrastructure. Rather, we have incumbent cable and telephone companies incurring all the capital expenses and investment risks while ISPs and resellers are allowed, by the regulator, to use this infrastructre at wholesale rates. People like to compare Canada's telecommunications cost and availability with countries that have dense, compact populations with milder climate conditions, which unfair and naive. If infrastructure owners (i.e. the incumbent phone and cable companies) are as profitable as some people allege, other companies would be lining up to enter the market; however, this is not the case. In 2013, Verizon, the large U.S. telco, considered entry into Canadian market, but ultimately declined. Had they found the Canadian market as lucrative as some believe, they, and others, would be here today. I live in the rural prairies and get my interent from Xplornet, which seems to be available just about everywhere in rural Canada. Certainly, my rural internet service is more expensive than when I lived in a large city, and the service is slower, but it meets my needs. Having bandwidth to support entertainment services is not an essential service and no one should expect any company to construct facilities to some remote rural location, at non-compensatory rates, just so they can watch Netflix. I don't invest my money that way and I don't expect others to either. In short, Canada enjoys fairly-priced and reasonable internet service in view of the geographical, population, climate and regulatory hurdles faced by our telecommunication service providers.

Steven Dobirstein - Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 19:25

"Canada's vast size, small population and harsh climate conditions are a major factor in the provisioning of telecom and interent services."

This is a myth that has been openly debunked on several occassions.

Canada actually has an unusually large percentage of the population living in major urban centers such as Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver etc. We have a relatively small amount of rural population that despite the scale of the country actually means the major telecoms have a significant edge in terms of the ease of developing their network. There have been several independant studies that support this.

"Having bandwidth to support entertainment services is not an essential service"
If the idea of growing access to the internet is in part to grow and sustain rural communities through how the internet effects overall quality of lie as the CRTC claims, then this is also a myth, and not a particularly well thought out one. Of course it is not the primary consideration, but defining it as an irrelivance is really pretty silly and short sighted.

lionsgate - Friday, April 15, 2016 - 13:49

I live in Vancouver, which is not among the muncipalities and communities that suffer from Availability of broadband services. Despite this fact, challenges still exist and persist in ensuring equitable and affordable access to all citizens. Affordability of broadband services is an issue, but perhaps a greater concern is Awareness from large portions of the population about why broadband services are of value to them.
These three general barriers to connectivity (Availability / Affordability / Awareness) are areas highlighted by Facebook's CEO (Mark Zuckerberg) at the 2016 F8 developer conference, as barriers to greater adoption to facebook products and services. I think that these are important considerations to the Commissions examination and should receive equal weighting to decisions about "which telecommunications services Canadians require to participate meanifully in the digital economy and the Commission's role in ensuring the availability of affordable basic telecommunications servcies to all Canadians."
The questions being asked by the Commission appear to be too narrow in scope, against the Commissions responsibilities, and should acknowledge the important role that urban centres play in the digital economy and innovation broadly. The apparent singular focus on Availability across the country will not address Canada's capabilities to compete in the global digital economy.

milnoc - Friday, April 15, 2016 - 14:22

Anyone who's missed TCPub Media's video presentation of "Everything is Data" on Monday afternoon due to CPAC's streaming issues can now view the presentation and question/answer period in their entirety on YouTube.

bcrl - Monday, April 18, 2016 - 14:37

The question of whether or not satellite service is a reasonable substitute for other forms of broadband keeps coming up in these hearings. I would like to suggest to the commission that it is necessary to ask providers for hard numbers that can be used to perform an objective comparison between the service levels offered. At a high level, the simplest number that can give an idea of the quality of service an ISP offers is the bandwidth oversubscription ratio. The more users are packed onto a fixed amount of bandwidth, the less bandwidth each user is able to utilise and the higher the latency of the connection becomes. I am convinced that this will shed light on the rough quality of service different ISPs offer, as there is a huge gap between the oversubscription ratio on DSL networks and satellite, and this gap is a direct function of the number of users served by a single link in the network (the uplink of the DSLAM in the case of DSL, compared to the transponder of a satellite -- DSLAMs have at most hundreds of users, whereas satellites have tens of thousands).

alihauck - Monday, April 18, 2016 - 16:34

Internet providers are so focused on the big cities that they literally ignore the small towns and say "don't like it, tough, its the best you are going to get" I have two providers in my home Telus, which I use for personal (because the speed is not good enough for my employer), that gets 3mbps down and .87 Up maximums and EastLink (which has no unlimited option), for work, which get better speeds but goes down so often I have lost 10 days of work in the last 4 months due to their service alone. I have no other options as satilite providers are not allowed for my work and being in a small town, I have no other options for any other providers and they know this. I have been seriously considering moving to a bigger city center as at this point I do not have much of a choice. Problem is, I cannot afford to move so I am stuck with this horrible situaltion.

Marc - Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 09:25

Tax the CMA and the likes.
There is a lot of talk about tax-payers paying to fund the disadvantaged and/or to fun rural and remote broadband. Or there is talk of having a new tax on out telecom bill to support the above.
Why is it that I don't hear anyting about the private sector paying a tax? If we listen to the peoples in the remote area's, which are on file with the CRTC, such as people from Nunavut, they are really complaining about high bills and lousey ad's eating up their usage (Keep in mind they pay 300-500$ month for low usage intermittent internet).
Why not have a 1-2%% tax on the ad and/or marketing industry in Canada which use the internet to get to people and bombard them with usage eating ads? Has anyone thought of that? If not, why not? Do you think people want those ads eating up their usage?
So I ask the CRTC to consider a tax not just on the people, but on other industries such as the ad/marketing industry.
Tax the The Canadian Marketing Association, google, yahoo etc. After all, they contribute to people usage, of which no one really wants.

Steven Dobirstein - Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 13:29

Just as a previous sidenote to my past comments. It is very much worth noting there are now many government services of various importance that can no longer be accessed in person that REQUIRE an internet connection.

A prime example: my mother walked into a registry office to inquire about getting the paperwork neccessary for renewing her government firearms liscence which she will need to do next year. She was informed they no longer give out the forms in person. You can only access them online.

This is only one of many possible examples, many of which the government itself is instituting. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing in terms of the issue of internet access.

The internet is a utility now. Not a luxury. Anyone saying otherwise is wrong and needs to re-evaluate. As a utility, it should be treated accordingly.

S Rumak - Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 20:41

In northern Manitoba we only have a small list to choose from for internet service... MTS as the top one, and Xplorenet as the second most popular. There may be more but these are the most popular amongst people up here.
First of all I would have to say about MTS's best internet offered up here is basic DSL speeds. They're no where near the same speeds as Winnipeg's best MTS internet package. Although we pretty much pay for similar prices but have much slower internet speeds up in the north.
I'd say it would be 100% fair having the same type of service province-wide. If I wanted to have the best service MTS has for internet, it should be the same quality of internet as Winnipeg. There should not be any limitation of service when they advertise it on their website and then turn around saying "Sorry we don't support your region for this internet package"... it's just as bad as discrimination to be honest!
It's really sad where my cellular phone as a tether is much more faster than the best service in the northern areas. IT'S EMBARRASSING!!!

pmonroe - Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 21:48

You don't have to be in northern Manitoba to have these problems. We are in Wilton Ontario, just 25km from Kingston, 5km north of Odessa Ont.. Although all around us has high speed internet we have just been through a fiasco trying to get consistent high speed. We have been with Xplornet our package was "up to 5Mbps". The problem was this would drop to 1Mbps in the evenings so we contacted Xplornet to see what could be done. We were told the problem was we needed to upgrade to the 10Mbps package. I asked and was assured we would get at least 5Mbps. After numerous phone calls and at least 5 people (including the installer) guaranteeing we would get at least 5Mbps we still only get between 1 and 2Mbps in the evenings when we want highspeed.
Xplornet isn't the only one that promises and doesn't deliver. During this time we tried to get Bell high speed. Again, I was promised consistent 5Mbps so I signed up for their high speed. When the installer showed up and I mentioned this to him, his comment was " I wish they wouldn't make promises." We never recieved internet at all from Bell and due to the fact all correspondence was done by cellphone during the day, it ended up costing us significantly for the time we were on hold.
It seems the Internet salespeople are the present day "Car salesman" making any promise necessary to make the sale. What is really frustrating is we are surrounded on all sides by villages that do get real high speed internet.

Angusbus - Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 15:18

I live in border town with slow internet in both provinces .we are paying the same as services down south. I rented a movie one time . Got to watch it 2 days later . Bought a game nhl got to play it 3 days later. My neighbours switched to netset but I can't get it because he is higher. There is no alternative for me in creighton sask it's not much better in flin flon Manitoba.we are paying top dollar for services advertised but we don't receive them. We have slowest internet in sask but pay same as people south money isn't discriminated against in value but our services are .just want a fair alternative. I think Sasktel should give rebates. Thanks for space . I'm from creighton sask and own business in flin flon manitoba

gram1909 - Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 19:25

I also live in Flin Flon, Manitoba, and our internet speed is horrific. VERY OFTEN our computer will either freeze or become so slow that it takes up to five minutes to open a new page or tab. If two people in our house are online our service slows down so much it can take a couple minutes for a new page of tab to open. We regularly lose internet connection - by regularly I mean every day, more than once. Another problem is, when typing, quite often there is a delay in the letters/words showing on the screen.

rfjabuck - Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 11:26

The following is the response from a computer technician to my question on potential internet options for our home in South Bruce Peninsula in south-western Ontario which pretty much sums up our internet service situation ...."Sorry when DSL or Cable is not an option I don’t have any recommendations. You would need to look into some kind of 4G LTE Mobile service and that is very expensive. Forget streaming since you will go through data like crazy. 10GB is not much data at all. Too bad you can’t get some kind of slow DSL service or Cable. Satellite internet is usually awful especially the upload speed."
Sadly, I have little faith that your current hearings will achieve anythingl. In the end I expect the big telecoms will come to the hearings and explain why it is not in their best interests to provide the necessary services and that will be that. It is pretty obvious that the CRTC is not respected by the public or the industry. Even with the recent $25 tv package, the industry just spit in the face of the CRTC. To be fair, it is not the CRTC's fault given the lack of government support.

clogan2 - Friday, April 22, 2016 - 09:40

I'd like to highlight some inaccuracy in the broadband coverage map. It seems to show locations that have any cable available have cable broadband available.
A good example is my hometown, Stanley, New Brunswick; there is no cable broadband there, there is 30 channels of analog cable by Rogers, but they aren't even advertising that service any longer.
On that subject, it seems like a great waste of infrastructure to have these old cable networks in rural communities go unused for broadband.

Brian Beaton - Friday, April 22, 2016 - 10:17

Commissioner Molnar asks about "technology agnostic" solutions in terms of ECN's decision to deliver fibre to the home solutions for their community members. The pressure applied by the various telecom providers to ensure their technical "solution" continues to be funded using public funds (ie. Xplornet's satellite "solution", Bell's LTE "solution", etc). With all the various studies and reports available showing that fibre backbone networks are required to deliver long-term development needs, I believe the CRTC can safely dismiss these other technology "solutions' as more band-aids that keep remote and rural communities underserved and economically deprived. It is 2016!! The communities in the north have demonstrated their patience and willingness to work with these other "solutions" over the years. It is now time to invest in long-term technology that the communities have repeatedly demonstrated is required today. It is time for BOLD ACTION on the part of the CRTC to stop taking care of the incumbent telecom providers and to begin supporting the communities and regions that are ready to take on the challenge of building, owning and operating the networks they require.

warzouing - Saturday, April 23, 2016 - 11:20

More and more people are using VOIP and IPTV instead of the traditional phone and television services. Due to that reality, Internet and service providers are now being considered an essential service and must be regulated somehow. Right now it is like a jungle with ISP competing and hiding their extra charges to get customers.

macrodavid - Saturday, April 23, 2016 - 21:10

As an IT worker I believe the issue should be not about whether 5 mbps is enough, which it obviously isn't, but wether or not people have a fiber optic versus a coax or two pair copper connection. The difference between old electric lines versus light based is astounding. I truly believe the new standard should be fiber optic everywhere, which makes talking about MBPS redundant as far as what people can physically receive goes (this doesn't include far remote locations that require satellite service like the far north). I think the pricing discussion needs to center around how taxes could pay for a Canada wide fiber connection system then let the telcos use market forces to arrive at fair pricing (with CRTC guidance) for costs of speed and data packages. It's going to cost us one way or the other, the information pipelines should be a utility, they are a utility, but the lines should be government owned and leased out for profit. The fiber lines are much more cost effective in the long run anyway and there are so many other industries that will profit and grow, including the telcos, from having a reliable, across the board optical connection to every residence (no last mile of copper).

Tinytim - Monday, April 25, 2016 - 22:08

We live in rural SW sask. Are only available choice is sask tel mobile service. Our service is so slow and many things we are limited by this..I.e.watching these talks on live stream is not possible.
We are paying the same as someone living in the city where they have fast speeds. We are also slowed down are already slow connection after 10 g. If sask tel is unable to give us the same services as everyone else...why are we paying the same rate...and having slow downs. This is not fair.

Brian Beaton - Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 12:40

Target broadband speeds must be agressive to ensure innovative solutions are able to introduced as they become available. I am paying about $90 for FibreOp at my home in Fredericton, NB from Bell Aliant which they advertise as delivering 100mb down and 50mb up. I never see these speeds but it is a fast connection for streaming two-way video for meetings, VOIP, and other online services requiring high speed broadband. I worked in the north, with remote and rural communities, where entire communities are being served with much, much less broadband. The infrastructure is inadequate and the services are terrible because telecom providers are able to claim they are meeting the minimum requirements. Other countries are setting the bar at 100mb connections. The OECD report, The Development of Fixed Broadband Networks (http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=DST...(2013)8/FINAL&docLanguage=En) recognizes the need for fibre networks that support these high speeds. The studies have been done to connect most communities to fibre. It is time for Canada and the CRTC to step into the 21st century and make this work possible. Remote and rural communities need telehealth services for their residents and regions. E-learning and e-work opportunities are critical for our economy. These online uses require high speeds everywhere. The time to act is NOW!!

andyb - Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 12:47

A recurring theme among incumbents when asked about data caps seems to be "Why do they need more" It is none of their business what its used for.People pay for internet not to be told what it can be used for.They should be clasified as dumb pipes. People in subsidized housing using rogers connect plan for the poor cant even watch the hearing because of data caps and its not on tv if they could afford that and bells lowest plan has an even lower cap. In fact the incumbent caps on their "affordable" plans are much lower than the average usage Bell stated was used by its customers in the UBB hearings years ago

bcrl - Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 10:26

Eastlink's claims that building out 5 km of fibre costs $40,000 per km are, frankly, ridiculous. I was able to string up 6 km of fibre using less than 100 hours of labour -- about $1500/km all in. If the permit costs in Nova Scotia are able to push those costs up to $40,000 per km, something is wrong on the regulatory front that needs to be addressed.

andyb - Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 13:59

One way to make a monthly charge easier for the people is to ban the touchtone fee then the digital fee that some incumbents still charge and voila you have cleared some room so the total monthly bill will not be as high. You also have a fee still being charged to bring telephone to highcost area's.Use that to ofset some of the cost. Sometimes you need to think outside the box.

rural_accountant - Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 14:32

It's too bad that the CRTC decided to hold hearinigs far from rural communities. Try sending out people to where we live and work and have them just try our internet. When they are completely frustrated (in less than 5 minutes) they will understand our justifiable anger at the big providers and the CRTC/ISED. They have been given billions in grants, subsidies, tax incentives etc. and could care less about rural Canadians. They are not forced to provide service here, so they don't. They whine that it is "too expensive". Fine. Then provide dollars from their collective customers to rural ISPs who DO provide service, but lack access to significant capital to provide either fixed wireless or fibre (FTTH).

Governments (ISED and its predecessors) have produced glorious pamphlets on the revolution in telecomm. So far it's all just pretty colours and nothing has changed for us. "Digital 150" is, and was, a joke. Yes, a few small WISPs got some cash - but it has changed little.

Between gov't and regulators, you MUST provide either funding for rural internet or provide the infrastructure directly. Telecomm providers have shown over the years their total lack of interest. Let it be so - provide the infrastructure and make them pay for access to it if they want it, or simply provide it to those who have shown they ARE interested - because they're already serving us.

Like other commenters, I have no faith that the CRTC will do anything other than bow down to Big $$ interests, sending countless billions more to them, ensuring data cap profitability and slow speeds instead of making a bold leap, being innovative and providing us with an thoughtful path to telecomm empowerment for rural Canadians.

The hearings have been interesting, but overwhelmed by private, not public interests.

OpenMediaOrg - Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 17:50

Would it be possible for OpenMedia to receive permission to play a short 6.5 minute original video documentary that features testimony from our members as an exhibit for the Q&A after our formal 10 minute presentation?
The short documentary details the experience of our community members who live off the coast of Vancouver in an underserved community called Bowen Island. OpenMedia produced it to be part of the record of this proceeding and we feel it is important for the Commissioners and Canadians more broadly to see it as part of the hearing.
Please let us know what our options for screening this short documentary tomorrow and if there is anything can do on our end to facilitate making this happen.
This would be a big moment for the community of Bowen Island and the OpenMedia community to see that their voices have been heard at such an important hearing and moment in Canada's history.
Here's the link: http://ow.ly/4nayCJ

PottonCitizen - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 10:06

I am very fortunate to be able to watch the CRTC hearings. I am connected to a 5/0.8 BELL DSL line and must be satisfied with no higher then 4.3/0.7 due to distance from the Central Office. I have no option to increase the speed and that leaves my wife or myself on the sideline when one or the other is using any video. Broadband in the States has been raised from 5 Mbps to 25 Mbps and I cannot understand anyone trying to sell the idea that 5/1 is still a viable speed in this day and age. Canadians must have a minimum of 15/3 at this point and that will only increase in the next few years.
To get the needed infrastructure, the residents must subsidize the installation of new cable/fiber. This to some degree feels like blackmail i.e. pay now or wait 5 - 10 years for the rollout.

Nuvitik - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 10:51

Nuvitik Inc. has an initiative to bring fibre broadband to rural communities in Canada's North, a region currently only served by satellite connectivity. The proposed Nuvitik network will run a subsea fibre cable around the coastal waters of Nunavut and Nunavik.
We are keen to work with the CRTC and other necessary authorities to bring the project to fruition and we await further positive engagement from Nunavut.
It is our intention to bring the fibre backbone to the communities as a wholesaler at reduced cost, in line with prices in southern Canada and in close collaboration with the federal Government. We would thereby provide an alternative to the existing satellite provision and enable local ISPs to offer fibre broadband to the end user homes and businesses. This two-year installation for the majority of the locations will revolutionize telecommunications in Northern communities and provide the backbone for essential high-speed internet services.
Our direct commitment to partnerships with indigenous people will make us transparent and forthcoming with federal agencies while achieving agencies' goals and objectives.
You will find further information at http://www.nuvitik.ca where you can also find our contact details.

bcrl - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 12:11

Just to comment on one of the questions discussed in this morning's proceedings: for end users to actually obtain detailed information about their own DSL internet connection is sometimes much more difficult than it should be. For example: Bell locks down their own DSL modems in such a way as to make it almost impossible for the end user to determine what the actual sync rate their line is running at. Normal ADSL/VDSL2 modems have statistics pages showing the current sync rate, the attainable rate, and information on the number of errors and uptime for the connection, while Bell's modems hide these statistics from their customers. This means that even technically inclined users do not have an easy task when it comes to making sure that Bell is actually selling the service that they purchased.

MSkeels - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 13:19

Jean-Pierre Blais
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Ottawa ON
Canada, K1A 0N2
Dear M. Blais:
Thank you for your April 18 remarks regarding the “self-evident truth” that broadband is vital to Canadian communities today.
On behalf of Bowen Island Municipality, I am writing to provide input to the CRTC’s Review of basic telecommunications services hearings. Our community is an island municipality in British Columbia. We face many of the same challenges as rural and remote communities throughout the country.
Bowen Island is a small market for an internet service provider. Concerns from community members about levels of service from ISPs have increased in recent years, and during the past year in particular. At the municipal level, we are attempting to address connectivity issues and struck an Internet Connectivity Working Group to explore the issue, but we have limited capacity and expertise.
We very much support the position of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to adopt a comprehensive and long-term funding mechanism for broadband access, to update the basic service objective to include universal access to affordable high-speed broadband internet, and to continually re-evaluate broadband speed targets.
We appreciate your leadership and we support developing a national broadband strategy that provides focus, direction, and support for this vital service, and look forward to the outcomes of the hearings.
Mayor Murray Skeels
Bowen Island
Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, MP, West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea-to-Sky Country
Jordan Sturdy, MLA, West Vancouver – Sea to Sky
Raymond Louie, President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Josh Tabish, Campaign Manager, OpenMedia

Foothills-AB - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 15:54

On behalf of the Municipal District of Foothills in Southern Alberta, I am writing to provide input to the CRTC's Review of Canada's Basic Telecommunications Services hearing. So many of the concerns are well captured by previous comments, but I will add this so we can be a part of your records for this hearing.
Rural residents and businesses are essential and valuable to the success of this country. An imbalance in opportunities for rural and urban continues to grow. We are searching for solutions but face prohibitive costs to make the reality of a decent definition of "high speed" available to rural residents. The M.D. of Foothills supports "gigabit" service to rural residents. We are currently underserved and would like to request measures and opportunities to improve service and support to rural citizens.
We appreciate your efforts to understand this situation and look forward to recommendations that will improve service to rural areas.
Sincerely, Suzanne Oel, M.D. of Foothills Councillor

Omega - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 17:30

The telecommunications companies have severely hampered our country's ability to compete globally with their greed. The CRTC needs to mandate that any internet connection in Canada must meet minimum quality standards and no internet connection in Canada should ever exceed $60 in cost. It is simply unjustifiable to charge more than that for what amounts to a rate of transfer.
The telecommunications companies have continuously misrepresented their risk and costs with an army of seething and incredulous lobbyists and executives. Annually, they rake in profits orders of magnutude beyond what it would cost to render service simply equal to the best nations out there.
But they don't. Instead, they hold our country's technology, arts and other internet reliant industries hostage because of their pure greed.
The problem the CRTC faces is that they are allowing politics and bickering to overtake what is ultimately a scientific and technical space. Stop trusting the contrived anecdotes of corporations trying to manipulate the discussion, hire the experts necessary and send them to debunk the lies. If the CRTC can't comprehend that it is in a technical space, then it has no business existing to regulate technical resources!

Omega - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 17:37

I'll be honest, even on the prairies, our prices are terrible. Not as bad as other areas, no. But I wouldn't hold us up as the golden standard either.

CUPW-STTP - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 18:52

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) represents approximately 50,000 people. Many CUPW members work for Canada Post as letter carriers, rural and suburban mail carriers, postal clerks, mail handlers and dispatchers, technicians, mechanics and electricians.

But CUPW doesn’t just represent postal workers. We also represent cleaners, couriers, drivers, vehicle mechanics, warehouse workers, printers, emergency medical dispatchers and other workers in the private sector. We are proud of our history and the achievements of our members.

We are determined to generate new ideas and opportunities of value to Canadians and use this successful public asset as a convenient point of facilitating communication. Canada Post has the largest retail, human resource and motor vehicle infrastructure in the country.

The Canada Post Act requires that Canada Post is “to establish and operate a postal service for the collection, transmission and delivery of messages, information, funds and goods both within Canada and between Canada and places outside Canada.’
Further, it states that, “while maintaining basic customary postal service, the Corporation, in carrying out its objects, shall have regard to
o (a) the desirability of improving and extending its products and services in the light of developments in the field of communications;”

We believe that the pubic have not been entirely well-served by the private sector monopolies currently. The mandate of Canada Post is to improve and extend “products and services in the light of developments in the field of communications’.

Canada Post and its extensive labour force currently provide services and direct contact points that reliably serve urban, rural and remote communities. It remains a public sector success story generating ongoing profits.

We also have some experience in creating digital access points for the community. In 1997 Canada Post piloted free internet and basic instruction to the public with trained staff in two sites in 1997. The program was expanded with Federal support to 127 sites. These had free access with clerk support. Unfortunately this accessible project wound down in 2003.

CUPW does not have a specific submission at this time but we have commissioned research into the viability of using this treasured public asset as a delivery mechanism for broadband, cell phone and other digital services.

While our research is ongoing, we feel that Canadians, and particularly rural Canadians, are underserved, and that the CRTC might want to consider ways that this huge national infrastructure could assist and improve the communication needs of our society.

We would be pleased to share our research findings and recommendations with you once that ongoing work is completed and ask that you consider the reach of the national postal service when assessing the needs of Canadians in the area of communications.

What do Canadians need from the telecommunications system?

*In 2011, the CRTC recognized that Internet services were increasingly important and considered that it would be in the public interest to establish universal target speeds of 5 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream for broadband Internet access in Canada.

View comments

kflack - Monday, April 11, 2016 - 13:40

I currently live in a remote community that has 5 Mbps download and .680 upload speeds being sold by Bell Canada.
Unfortunately, they have overallocated the service and during the majority of prime time service the download speed is below 1 Mbps and sometimes .1 Mbps.
Latency increases from 10 ms to 78-100 ms+ during those times, and dropped packets as high as 14%.
Bell is aware of the problem of overallocation for our entire municipality (500 residents) as refuses to upgrade the services.
RDSLAM Fibre link at maximum throughput - Older technology ADSL
Although they quote internally 80% should be the minimum performance level, contractually they do not seem to have any restrictions on how low it can go.
There needs to be strict performance criteria that ISPs need to be held accountable to to meet minimum service levels.
Performance standards need to be for
Down/upload Speeds
Dropped Packets.
Published performance SLA specifications -ongoing
Penalties for non performance

belmor - Friday, April 22, 2016 - 12:50

I have similar issue. I live in an acreage. I used TELUS LTE service and everything was fine except for the fact that I am limited to 10GB of data before I get very large surcharge costs. As everyone knows 10GB of data is nothing by today's standards. I have a family of 4 and have 8 systems internet connected from Netlix, Music, downloading and kids gaming on a daily. I also use it for work vpn in everyday. I was forced to look for an alternative so I have now subscribed to Xplornet (4G Wireless) for a 10mbps down and 1 mbps up service. I have been using that for 21 days and it has been horrible. I get anywhere from .5 mbps up to 3 mbps on a regular basis and over 100ms response time. I have called their support several times and when I do they seem to fix the issue, however the next day it is right back to the same problem. I belive they have oversubscribed their service here also. The CRTC needs to put regulation on how much oversuscription providers should be allowed to have.'
My two bits.

JohnNol - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 03:49

5/1 Mbps is a decent target, if this was 1999. If you set a target, set it higher than what we had a decade ago, and set it symmetrical. It not unreasonable to set a standard of 50/50 Mbps for the bare minimum of what can be considered broadband. There also no technical limitation that would justify cap or usage based billing. Data is cheap, we are talking a cent a Gb if not less.

eejjpp - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 08:33

Having visited many other countries, the level of "service" Canadians receive for the amount of money we pay for Internet and other telecom services is so far behind the rest of the developed world, it's laughable. At this point, Canadians absolutely require Internet access. Schoolchildren are expected to research for projects outside of school hours. I can count several jobs for which I've applied that had an online-only application method. On a non-necessity level, an increasing number of people prefer to use an Internet connection, plus download music to have on the go. The Internet is increasingly used for shopping, booking trips, finding recipes and has increased the level of convenience in almost every sector of our lives. At 5/1 Mbps, it would be painful to attempt to do anything beyond load text or low-res graphics. Streaming? Out of the question.
The needs and desires of Canadians have changed, and our systems need to keep up with that. I fully understand that there are far faster options out there for which you can choose to pay a premium, but in all seriousness, my Internet connection (via Bell) rarely achieves the speeds advertised. They are usually halved if not worse, even during non-peak hours.At this moment, on a 150/50 Mbps FibreOp package, I am operating at 24.3/9.3 Mbps. If I had another provider option in my area, I'd have jumped ship years ago. As such, I find myself feeling both limited in my ability to use the Internet I pay for to its fullest potential and ripped off as a consumer.
Canadians deserve to join the rest of the world as far as Internet quality, access and affordability go. The CRTC needs to raise its minimum standards and hold providers accountable for meeting those standards and ensuring the average Canadian can afford to pay for Internet services.

Tatarync - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 09:42

We need to put an end to the oligopoly that runs things. We, as Canadians, are charged exponentially more for significantly more limited service than many other countries around the world. We're not idiots, we know we're being ripped off, we just don't have a choice.

Our service, specifically in Manitoba, is unreliable and expensive. For cell phone carriers, we have the option of MTS or Rogers, or "tough luck if you're ever outside of Winnipeg." They claim LTE speeds, but we all now that's not always true as companies are allowed to throttle their data speeds (another thing that should be made illegal).

The Big Three are doing their damndest to keep competition out while keeping Canadian wallets empty, and the CRTC has done nothing but help them to accomplish this goal.

Frankly, at this point in the history of globalization, the CRTC is an unnecessary hindrance on the Canadian consumer, doing nothing but colluding with the enemy while keeping goods and services we want to pay for inaccessible.

How embarassing is it to see American cell service commercials and get jealous?

Sculptor - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 10:40

I moved to this country three years ago and the telecom companies are the worst part. I miss back home where i could afford a cellphone plan, satellite tv and internet that was faster than the most expensive plan offered by the oligopoly in Canada. All for less than I am paying for just internet, now. You ask if internet is essential? All of the tv and movies that I watch are online. When I make a phone call or send a text message I use an app on my computer. I work online. I keep in contact with my family back home online. If I had to choose between the internet and indoor toilets I would choose the internet. The telecom companies know this and they are shaking all the money out of my pockets at every chance, while providing terrible service. It is an insult. There are times of the day I tell my family not to call, or I don't go online because I know that Rogers will not be providing me with a useful amount of service. I never see my loved ones, and most of our calls are dropped or my emails take hours to send.

Please, allow the international market to increase competition in Canada. Without competition the telcom companies are taking advantage of all canadians. You are on the internet right now, and you are being taken advantage of. It could be better. It is better in nearly every part of the world.

petergharib - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 11:03

I need to have the ability to turn off the ability to go over my data. If I have a 5 GB plan, I should be able to request my data turn off automatically when it hits 5 GB. I'm tired of overage fees.

James - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 12:00

Broadband internet ought to be a utility in Canada. Services and education are increasingly reliant on internet access.
I work from home, and require broadband internet to do my job. While this is no problem where I currently live, I could not relocate to many remote areas of Canada and be able to work. I would be interested in contributing to a small remoe community, but this is not an option.
5/1 is a start, but streaming video services have difficulty with this. While many may simply chalk streaming video as leisure, it can be usd as an educational tool, and an effctive one at that. 15/1 would be more appropriate.

wdmlist - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 13:01

High speed internet should be a right for every citizen. The notion that minimum internet speeds cannot be regulated is complete twaddle. There are other countries that have regulated internet such that every citizen has a minimum speed guaranteed, countless technologies are available for use to make this a reality.
What really needs to happen in this country if Telco’s are unwilling/unable to do this is that all backbone networks from all telecommunication companies need to be nationalized and integrated into an arm’s length company. All Telco’s should then be made to act as last mile providers. We gave them their networks so why can’t we take them back? It’s been done in other countries as well.
Internet prices and speeds are among the worst of any developed country. There are many non-big three companies offering 250Mbps (up/down) for as little as $50 a month. Why this can’t be the standard for other companies is the question.
It’s been long enough that this private telco experiment be fixed as these companies have repeatedly shown that they have no interest in their customers, and even believe that have the right to either do what they wish or dictate government policy that goes against the will of the Canadian Government and its citizens.

Bbking01 - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 15:04

Bell fibe is located within a kilometer of my location but they will not hook me up with high speed internet. I have dial up Bell service but it is basically useless. I am located in rural Ontario and have no other options.

Talimar - Tuesday, April 12, 2016 - 23:46

Let's do away with a coloful comment and let's get down to actual details of why this suggestion from CRTC shows just how out of step they are not only with the business end of the technology regarding what gets called the internet; but also with their data collections.
Let's start with the CRTC reports summary overview for 2015 that's already listed information. over 96% of Canadians already have speeds that exceed 5mbps. The short of it is why are we discussing such a recommendation if the consumers already have this? Regulation paramaters shouldn't work this way. Over 96% was also the previous year's number. You pull the 2013 numbers direct from yet again the CRTC policymonitoring and just one service alone will more then exceed the 5 primary usage paramaters on the worst settings possible inside of 10 days at 5mbps.

And you come up with this forums idea for us Canadians to talk to you about new regulations for speed? You folk aren't even using your data or industry data to run the calculations. So why bother with these forums? Why offer a standard at 5mbps when Year to year growth from 2010 when 2016 average should be around 9mbps? Why are we asking why regulations should be a half decade old to begin with and then fail to make considerations for future growth?

I will however note that while internet speed is important; it's data caps; saturation and ping times which are equally important. Data caps should go. Plain and simple. I just did the math and at the proposed 5mbps rate; we should be entitled to approx. 1620GB of data. Rogers allows 125GB for 5mbps connections as a data cap. 8% of what I purchased is what i'm allowed to use without getting charged extra. If this were renting; that would so very much violate rental laws of every province and territory in the country; which states that we are entitled to use all of our apartment; not just a portion of it. Shaw only allows you to use 4%; Bell isn't showing me a 5mbps; but only a 15mbps which they allow you to use 2.3% of the service we just purchased for the month.
Yet... nobody's worried about how little we are actually allowed to use the service. With the standard data usage pulled from your own research and data collections papers.
As of 2015; the global average is what the CRTC is currently proposing. Given reasonably new numbers from Akamai - a company that actually does their job reasonably well - the world average is currently 5.0mbps with a year over year average increases that are in the double digits. We can back up your extremely well done 2013 data papers; and extend the forecast for consumer usage in about 3 minutes.

So on to the questions!

What are the basic services that Canadians require? I will limit this as a subcategory as reccomendations for "internet" and not just a badly worded introductory question.
1. Wired service that doesn't have a data cap. Satellite and Wireless data that has better data caps. I shouldn't see a satellite option at below.... 140GB per month. (126GB calculated as min. usage.)
2. No more injected scripts. I haven't yet filed a complaint to the board as it is infrequent. Having your ISP hijack your internet session is a huge violation. (sadly I can only resume doing whatever it was I was doing if I close down my browser.
3. Ammend tentative talks for a robust advertisement system. While hacking will still happen; we should be able to have a framework of safety for the individuals which should include minimal problems in regards to analytics systems that cause most of the problems with advertising systems on the internet. Intentionally not fixing security holes should be addressed.

Is poor Internet service limiting your participation in the digital economy?

Another horribly stated question! It should be rephrased immensely. Due to some low-density areas within Canada; the answer is very much yes. Intermitten connections; high latency preventing sales from properly going throw and abysmal data caps prevent both consumers and business people from that early 2000's goal of having a robust internet service.
My participation in the digital economy is limited more in regards to knowing how bad security can be in addition to simply not having a large enough paycheck to include something that isn't under the "essentials" category. The other problem with the digital economy is that interchange between digital purchases and real purchases. Things like Amazon; or Newegg. They are digital economies; but I am loathe to use them simply because I can't actually collect my purchases. One courier told me they would refuse delivery to the place of business which would prevent me from collecting my purchase; and one of the others managed to enter a building and knock on my door on a Sunday; a day they don't deliver.
The second problem is tarriffs in regards to physical items. Purchasing a 15 dollar item ends up costing well over 60$ online when it has to go through customs. Purchasing the same item within Canada online was more expensive. Choosing a similar item that didn't function as I wanted it to at an actual store would of cost... 30$.

Is the CRTC’s 5/1 Mbps* target sufficient for Canadians to participate in the digital economy?
No.... I need to import one of the meme cat's that go "nom nom" and strike out the "m". An all caps 72 point "no" just isn't sufficient.
Today's "good streaming" is buffering at 2-5mbps.
If you bothered to keep up with technology; you would know we already have 4k streaming resolution standards. The best compression we have currently is 15.6mbps and they don't expect to see it hit below the 10mbps rate for a while.
If we aren't bothering to look at "current" standards that exist that will be available as normal usage in the next 2 to 3 years; then asking for less then half that as a regulation is a flat out statement that you aren't doing your job.

JF Bérubé - Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 11:11

Please do away with bandwidth caps. They are an unjustified means of increasing profits for providers and are solely meant to keep people from cutting the cable cord. Caps are a corporate rip-off and should be illegal in the entire country.

Rdwaldon - Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 13:42

In Caledon, Ontario lack of affordable high speed and high bandwidth is well documented. Our Service provider (Bell) employees have told us not to expect this service, period. Yet, municipal and provincial governments and utilities have already switched to providing their services and information on line. "It's on our web site." is now considered an acceptable response to citizens, even when dealing with large files such as environmental assessment reports. This is exacerbated by reduction of hours in local library branches with Internet access sites. Two days per week, for our closest branch.
Our alternatives are satellite and cell services. We left satellite when the provider, Xplornet, cut off our service to "upgrade" us to a new satellite, but we could not accept a large dish bolted to our roof. The cell service does not have sufficient speed and bandwidth for us to use services such as Skype, GoToMeeting (for work) or stream content. Both satellite and cell are very expensive, between 2 and 3 times the cost of urban speeds and bandwidth we could only dream of. Yet, we are considered part of the GTA.
Please HELP!

Rdwaldon - Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 13:49

No, 5/1 may not be sufficient for work related services (webinar, etc.) to participate in the digital economy. Yes, high speed and sufficient bandwidth should be be considered a basic service because governments and utilities now use Internet to interact with citizens and actively discourage paper transactions.

Drussell - Friday, April 15, 2016 - 09:47

Living in northern Manitoba, we are struggling to compete and function in the global economy and also hindered everyday with slow (stopped) downloads and impossible uploads. I have tried to set up systems in my personal life and my to ease my work life and am stopped constatly along the way being told the services are not avaialbe here. It is like my access to the world and my ability to keep up with the constant changes along the information highway are blocked. We need help to continue to function in the north.I hope the CRTC takes the view that supporting rural areas with lower population and therefore fewer overall dollars in the system, is a need and right of all Canadian citizens.

Regular Joe - Monday, April 18, 2016 - 16:08

We are being increasing forced to use the internet to access some fairly essential services. We drive on government owned roads to go to the bank or pick up our medical test results. Now that it is over the internet, this new "internet highway" must also be owned or tightly regulated by government, just like the current bitumen and pebbles highways.
If the private sector can do it more efficiently, they must be required to provide services at a level that allows us to do our regular activities, at a reasonalbe price and service level. No potholes and crazy taxes with roads. No bottling of speed or ridiculously low load limits with the internet. If the private sector executives can only do it at exorbitant profits, then they should get out of the business and leave it to the government.
Internet service is like roads. It is not an option. They should be regulated like roads.

dlwmacgregor - Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 08:56

For the most part, I am happy with the high-speed offerings in the rural Ottawa area. But the problem with rural Internet is the exhorbitant costs of monthly data and the costs incurred when an account goes over its allotted monthly allowance.
Urban users get to choose plans that routinely offer up to 80GB or much more for less than $100 per month, whereas rural users routinely are offered only 10GB monthly for the same cost, with an overage fee of $10 per GB, which , I believe is gouging.
I know that rural customers constitute less than 20% of the "big 3's" base but what good is access when you have to pay enormous monthly fees for such access?
If it is deemed that high-speed Internet access is a right, then either telecom companies must be compelled to offer a low cost high-speed rate to their rural customers or Internet access costs should be tax-deductable.

Thank you
Doug MacGregor

NSRasta - Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 06:19

Within the city boundaries of Halifax, Nova Scotia, I have no Cellular, Internet or access to online services.

Formerly, the Harper Government removed PUBLIC C@P site (Public Internet) used by Tourists, locals for research, job searches, etc.
We lost that also. Now, if we are in a region that the ONLY provider services, we may have INTERNET, but otherwise we are denied. With only one player "Bell Canada" price gouging is expected, there is no need to care for consumer pricing or services.

The limitations of NO CONNECTIVITY or no BROADBAND prohibits growth in the communities outside the city. Tourism suffers, because there is no Cellular or Internet access along the highways of the Halifax Municipality.

There is no BUSINESS growth as INTERNET access is a MUST to compete in the Social Media world of today.
WE have no access to Nova Scotia Government updates (Twice a day for burning restrictions posted)

No access to Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) to access Tax Forms

Television was lost in 2010, and BROADBAND would have provided CABLE TV, but we never got the promised (Two govermnents) Broadband in Rural Nova Scotia. We lack NEWS, CRTC Hearing Updates, Access to Emergency Services (no 911 Cellular or PSA reports) and exist with less services than we had before.

IF Telecom companies do not wish to grow laterally into Rural surroundings around Capitol Cities, perhaps another player will provide the service? This isn't a luxury item, I could not post this from the community where my home is, there is no access to the internet.
The CRTC seems misinformed how close the Internet is to Canadians but can't be reached. It isn't the price, because we simply don't have it, and if we get it, can we afford it. Has anyone thought about this since 2010 when we lost C@P and Analogue Television services? Without Broadband, we have no Basic Cable, Internet, Telephone choices, competition, business, tourism, education, information, and other things provided to every member of the CRTC and most who access this site.

It's time to inject some TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES in Rural Canada, Cellular, Internet, Televsion and Government Services Access.

limajuliet - Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 10:34

I have had two plans in rural Quebec, satellite, and a wireless internet service to a cellular nearby. The satellite Internet is expensive, and the data speeds are slow. Also, since I signed up for the plan, the satellite plan has changed multiple times EACH year. Furthermore, the provider keeps trying to take away perks, such as free 2 am to 7 am data. I only continued with this provider for nearly four years because until this winter, there was no other option other than dial up.
One of the biggest issues regarding satellite service is the slow speed of the bandwith. I am a teacher; my students are in China. I actually make a very good living with this job. Up until this past winter (when I added a new provider) I had to rent an apartment in the city to get fast enough bandwidth speeds in order to keep my job. Most online employers do no like to employ teachers who have slow bandwidth and connection problems.
The opportunity for people in remote areas to find work is a major issue in itself. It would be great if we could get access to affordable FAST internet service, so that we can have more opportunities to be employed in the enormous online employment industry.
This past fall, I heard about the Bell wifi service via a Huawei hub. The hub connects to the closest Bell cellular tower. Even though there is a grant for the hub, which is expensive, I could not find one locally in the Bell store, so I called around and bought one from a supplier in another town. I cannot explain enough how thrilled I am with the service. Bell recently upgraded my plan to a Internet wireless flex 5 plan wherein in I can have access to up to 90 gigs a month for a reasonable rate... around $60 dollars a month. This service allows me to stream all the television I need. I don't need a separate TV plan, and I am also able to live at home and teach because the speeds are incredible.
The only issue is that there remains no real competition in this new wireless wife internet market. Bell has the most rural towers, and I do not believe enough companies are able to offer competititve service. Unless new technology is developed, I believe this new service by Bell is going to be the best service for those of us who are lucky to live close enough to one of their towers for the following reasons:
1 The Flex 5 plan provides enough fast internet service to accoomodate the needs of people who work online from home as well as those who wish to stream TV and movies.
2 The service seems to be reliable. I have not had an outage yet after four months. This is important for people who work online in fieds such as teaching.
3 The service is affordable.

I have only recently noticed that my satellite provider is now offering 100 gigs a month for 100 dollars. People in rural areas want lots of gigs so that we can stream TV and access the Internet from ONE single provider at an affordble rate. It is true that some people may still wish to have satellite TV as a separate plan, but I do not perceive that to be the way into the future. I am also concerned that these new plans will evaporate as options once the hearings are over. Futhermore, regardless of how much affordable service the satellite internet providers give us, speed will always be a major issue, not to mention the fact that there are constant connection issues.
Many thanks for aloowing the public to have easy access to these hearings.

Barbette63 - Wednesday, April 27, 2016 - 16:42

tried to get your deal, u know the flex 5 deal and bell was having none of it.
Told me it would cost me $145 for 100g.
they said the "flex plan" is the same cost as regular it's just pay as you go.
they are not budging so I say to u my friend, don't call in to change anything on your internet and enjoy.
cheers from
living in the country and paying through the nose for everything
eg: hydro cost $95 for a month delivery charge $165,

rfjabuck - Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 00:28

In 2014 we moved from Waterloo ON to a spot about 15 minutes north of Wiarton in South Bruce Peninsuala. We never thought to check out the internet services. After all, this is not exactly the wilderness. Big mistake.. The only internet service is cellular through Rogers and Bell or satellite through Xplornet. So far we have gone the cellular route. We are close to the tower so the speed is decent. However the pricing of cellular internet verges on criminal. 10gb for about $100.
We cannot afford $100 a month so we have much less than 10gb. Forget streaming. We even had to turn off automatic updates of our computer operating system. When I need to send-receive large files, update my computer or do anything else that will use up significant bandwidth, I head to town for some free wifi at a coffee shop. Luckily we close up for the winter and spend much of the winter in southern USA with boundless, cheaper internet. Interestingly, this year we went to a small town in Mexico for a month and enjoyed very afforable and decent DSL.
It is my understanding that Canada has amongst the worst internet servcies with the hightest cost of most developed countries in the world. Still, I do not have a particular problem with the pricing, speed and bandwidth of broadband. I just find it appalling that rural Canadians are forced to take third world internet services at exhorbitant prices. The internet is not a luxury. It is a necessity. Those without it are effectively second class citizens. I will not get into the many reasons everyone needs the internet. Suffice it to say the government even promotes efiling our tax returns yet will not ensure the internet necessary to transmit them.
As for the question of speed, 5 and 1 is really quite inadequate. Just get us afordable broadband and the ISP's will likely far exceed that level anyway.

Stormcrow - Friday, April 22, 2016 - 15:59

I am an Information Technology professional.
I live in a Rural community 15 minutes north of a town that has 100MB+ bandwidth capabilities, yet it seems that I can only recieve 5mb download speeds with ALL carriers.....this is unacceptable.
With todays demands for high speed internet, be it streaming, data transfer, downloading or ecommerce, the current standard set by the CRTC is just not close to what is needed by Canadians in this modern age.
I love my home and enjoy living in a small town just outside of a larger community in Southern Ontario, but it seems that my sacrifice is having to go to a friend or family members house in "town" to download large files needed for work. Again, unacceptable.
I can understand living in a very remote area and not having adequete internet access, but living literally 10 minutes north of a major fibre hub and not being able to access it is just disheartening.
I have considered actually moving, since I access the interenet constantly for work, and not to mention my children's needs for access as well.
How many parents have had to tell their children to stop downloading something for school so I can download an OS patch, software suite or data file for work?
I have read that the Ontario government has allocated funds to rectify the situation but I have little faith that i will ever see the end result of those funds.
The CRTC has an obligation to give to the public MODERN high speed internet within reason. 5MB is simply not enough.
I have little faith this post will make any difference, but as an IT professional trying to give my kids a good upbringing in a rural area I am saddened.

rural_accountant - Monday, April 25, 2016 - 18:45

I live in rural BC in an area that Industry Canada tells me has 5/1 service (it doesn't actually, so their data is quite misleading). I can purchase a service that maxxes out at about 3 Mb down and doesn't really upload much - 1Mb would be "generous", or use satellite. The problem with both is latency. While I can read email or do light web browsing, there is no way I can operate my remote servers, run tax programs or accounting programs on client sites, join in webinars or GoTo meetings etc.
To all intents and purposes, Candians not living in the dense people-rich (and money-rich) urban patches of this country are third-class citizens in the eyes of the telcos and cablecos. They don't want to spend the investment dollars to provide services to us.
There are some great little WISPs around and they do what they can, but their service is spotty in my experience, and it is definitely expensive.
I *need* robust internet to run my business and support my clients (most of whom, oddly, are in urban areas). What did I do? I built my own fixed wireless system providing service from a local small town (Shaw) via radio to my business location. It cost me a ton, takes a lot of management but provides me with better than 30 Mb down and 5 Mb up. Generally, unless there is a power outage, I can do whatever I need to.
What about all my neighbours, a number of whom run businesses? Nothing for them - this holds back economic investment, development and small business.
It behooves the CRTC to enforce the building of adequate internet services to rural Canadians by setting realistic speed targets (50/5 should be easily attainable) and forcing density requirements on the major companies whose unrealistic profit profiles hamper any form of movement. Simply put, the CRTC and the Canadian government are complicit in ensuring that rural Canada has terrible internet service just through having no policies in place.
"Connecting Citizens" in BC was a program designed (as far as I can tell) to transfer $1 billion from the taxpayer to Telus in exchange for .... something. But where I live, Telus has said they have no plans to use that funding at any time. Well, no plans to build with that funding - but as far as I'm aware they are still actually taking the money.
I'm 10 minutes from 2 towns, both with cable service, both with fiber running through them. For me? Nothing even close....
I'd urge the CRTC to develop clear targets - high ones - because setting 5/1 as a goal for 5 years from now will be as silly as expanding the Post Office by then. Old, slow, unreliable and pointless.

Joe10 - Monday, April 25, 2016 - 19:18

Like many others who have commented I live just outside of a large city in Canada, located in South Western Ontario and am limited to either satellite, cellular or direct line of sight wireless. Two concessions north of me everyone has fiber optic to their location, even all the farms. Two concessions south of me, everyone has DSL directly to their location. Recently Bell dropped it rural service. When we were looking at other alternatives we were questioned on what our usage was. We asked Bell and were told “they could not tell us since the service was so slow they never monitored it”. We are now on a wireless system that is advertized at 5M, but we never see that rate, typically is it 1-2M Mbps. When the weather is poor, rain, snow, or fog, the service may not exist all it. It is like we are in an internet wasteland, just outside a major Canadian city.
Speeds of 5/1 Mbps are not reasonable standards in today’s environment. Yes, it would be nice to have that, as compared to what is now available, but the target should not be for what was acceptable in 2011, but rather what is reasonable for 2016 and the near future.
The Ontario government is supporting the natural gas utilities to “infill” rural areas with natural gas service. The CRTC should require the service providers to “infill” pockets that exist within their coverage area. This coverage should be at least 30 Mbps down and 8 up and not subject to the vagaries of the weather or who many kids are now home from school.

JohnNS - Monday, April 25, 2016 - 20:52

Q: What are the basic services that Canadians require? Does this include broadband Internet?
Broadband interet is the service Canadians require. Basically everything can be done with a good connection. VOIP, Skype, general telecommunicating, tv services. Cell phone, while nice, can be handled by broadband at home.
Q: Is poor Internet service limiting your participation in the digital economy?
Absolutely. Everything from providing products, to communication, to updating computers with important software and security patches.
Q: Are there other barriers regarding telecommunications services that are hindering your ability to participate in the digital economy?
See above. Throw spotty, expensive cell phone coverage in the mix. By the way, Bell is removing the discount for owning your own device - CRTC has been silent on it. There will be NO benefit to owning a device vs subsidized.. straight cash grab.
Q: Is the CRTC’s 5/1 Mbps* target sufficient for Canadians to participate in the digital economy?
The fact this is a question shows you know it's insufficient. Do the math on something as basic as the Windows 10 upgrade at about 3 or 4 gigs. At 5mbs how long will it take to upgrade a single computer? Now if you have 2? 3? 4? Now factor in updates to it, other software on the machine (patches often in the 1 gig range), so on. It's prohibitive to the point that they don't get done unless absolutely necessary - and hope the service doesn't quit while you run the updates overnight.
Outside of business, 5/1 internet (if you can get the claimed amount with any frequency), makes things like ordering streaming services, backing up files online, gaming, etc next to impossible.
It can be difficult to even particiapte in something like this forum. My connection dropped several times trying to register and post.
Q: Are some types of online activities difficult with a 5/1 Mbps connection?
Obviously. As mentioned above - streaming services, backing up files online (cloud storage), important updates to software - the list goes on.
Way back in the dial up days there were smaller companies that would run the lines from the mainlines to the sidestreets that the big companies wouldn't service. That doesn't exist now.
The big companies how no interest in providing service - they simply hit the large city centers and everyone else can kick rocks. I live on a road with about 10 or 12 people over a 4 or 5km stretch. This road is off a secondary highway. There is highspeed service on the highway but both Bell and Eastlink said it's not worth their expense to bring service to us - it will not happen. We've offered to pay more,sign multii year contracts and even asked about cost sharing if we can raise a reasonable amount. They won't budge.
I understand they are in it to make money and I don't begrudge that - however the money poured in to programs like broadband wireless internet and 5/1 are misplaced and short sighted. By the time tasked companies get around to actually doing it (since there's little profit in it for them they drag their feet) the target goal is already years and years and years behind. Eastlink, for example, failed to meet the measures - they didn't get the next round of funding - and because of that capped the users (I'll call this speculation based on many conversations). Seaside met the goals and received further funding. They are working on upgrades to 5/1, currently 1.5/0.5, projected completion is 2017. So far no caps and a modest price increase. We don't even have parity within the provice - I can't imagine across Canada.
Essentially this 1.5/0.5 and 5/1 programs is the new dial up. It doesn't cut it.

Kithop - Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 16:21

What are the basic services that Canadians require? Does this include broadband Internet?
I do believe we are already living in an age where broadband Internet is a basic service that all Canadians should be able to access, with reasonable speeds and reliability at reasonable costs. Many other services, including government ones, are moving online, and threaten to leave behind people in rural or remote communities, or that can't afford the service they have in their area.
Much like we expect electric service, water and sewage, roads and infrastructure - indeed, the copper telephone system that has enabled so much already - it's time we treat Internet access the same.

Is poor Internet service limiting your participation in the digital economy?
I work remotely almost full time - I telecommute for a position that is about 100km from where I live. This arrangement is something my employer allowed me to set up, to enable me to purchase my first home. I live well east of Vancouver, British Columbia, where as many people know, the cost of living and especially real estate of any kind has skyrocketed in the past decade. However, it wasn't easy - while shopping for a home in Mission, I knew that I absolutely required broadband service to be able to do my job (support for online banking across the country) - there were a number of homes I looked at that had nothing but dial-up service available to them, and many more that only had ADSL access (6Mbps down) maximum, not enough for what I need to do.
When I finally found my home, I was told originally that it qualified for 50Mbps/10Mbps service, only to find out after I moved in that no, I was too far from the central office and could only get half of that speed, for almost the same price. It's only in the past week or so that I've been able to take multiple phone lines, bond them together, and get back to that speed I was hoping for when I purchased the house almost a year ago.
While getting that bonded service set up, we ran into physical issues with the lines - the copper wire had corroded on the poles! The technician I spoke to said it was the worst he'd seen in the city - I was without any internet service (save for a cell phone's data plan) for almost a full week while they sent a truck out to run brand new wire down my street. That week without service severely impacted my ability to peform my job - I could access my e-mail, but that was it. Getting a VPN connection to work, let alone my office's soft-phone (VoIP) connection was impossible at the paltry datarate I could achieve by tethering my cell phone (something on the order of 100Kbps down/20Kbps up).
That week without service really opened my eyes to just how critical this infrastructure is, and how the age of the existing copper network is already fast becoming a very real and present issue - I would have been without even basic phone service for that week, were it not for my cell phone.
Similarly, though not my day job, I also work on music production and some video work, mostly for friends or for my own band(s). Having access to *upstream* bandwidth becomes critical for these endeavours, as you're constantly pushing large files to and from various systems, whether it be a studio recording session (that once would have been sent on reel-to-reel tape, now gets pushed to 'the cloud'), or your band's latest music video (which, of course, absolutely must be in high definition these days) - the incumbent cable provider's fastest packages are extremely asymmetrical - something on the order of 100Mbps down and 2 or 3Mbps up, while the telephone provider's DSL (with the bonded link) is 50/10. Even 10Mbps feels 'just barely right' to get by, as you're waiting hours to transfer files.
This is a heavier use case than basic service, I admit, but what was basic service a decade ago is not basic service today, and the basic service we set today will likely be completely impractical in the next decade.
All of this usage can come at a cost - quite an extreme cost, when you factor in that many ISPs now subscribe to a 'Usage Based Billing' model, and limit you to a set number of gigabytes per month, charging you overages should you exceed it. This makes almost all home connections simply 'burstable' connections, with an average sustainable data rate much, much lower if you were to stay within these artificial limits.
Thankfully, the ISP I subscribe to offers an unlimited usage package for about $10/mo extra, but this is the exception, not the norm - wholesale data rates are much, much cheaper than what most ISPs charge - on the order of fraction of a penny per GB; there is no technical need for such usage based billing.

Are there other barriers regarding telecommunications services that are hindering your ability to participate in the digital economy?
One of the biggest ones is the lack of proper competition on the wireless space - particularly between the 'Big 3' incumbent cellular carriers - I'm a customer of one of the smaller providers, Wind Mobile, and even they've now been purchased by a much larger company - Shaw. While there are promising plans coming - new towers in Mission, the prospect of finally enabling LTE service - overall we still pay far too much for the service we get, whether it be the artifical caps on data transfers or coverage in rural areas.
I struggle currently to have my phone maintain a simple 1-bar connection to their tower across the river in Abbotsford, and it tends to only work when I'm nearest a south facing window. I even tried to purchase a wireless range booster ('CelFi') that unfortunately didn't work for my situation for whatever reason and had to be returned.
While my initial feeling is that I'd like to see a 4th national carrier grow from this situation, with the corresponding coverage maps to prove it, I think we need more regulation and oversight into just how the existing carriers come up with their costs and how they all seem to raise their prices simultaneously, sometimes on the same weekend, without much information in the reasons why, let alone a proper breakdown.

Is the CRTC’s 5/1 Mbps* target sufficient for Canadians to participate in the digital economy?
For the absolute, most basic - being able to interface with government services - it may be passable, but I'd prefer seeing at least 10Mbps down as the most basic target (explained in the next answer).
Are some types of online activities difficult with a 5/1 Mbps connection?
A whole number of activities:
Video streaming is probably one of the largest uses of internet bandwidth in North America - popular services like Netflix and YouTube are a large part of that, but even incumbent providers are using higher bandwidth connections to serve digital TV systems of their own over DSL connections. Advances in video codec technologies are helping with constrained bandwidth connections (see: YouTube's move to Google's own VP8 and VP9 codec vs. using H.264), but increases in formats counter those gains (the move from SD to HD, and then 4K).
While watching video uses downstream bandwidth, many Canadians are fast becoming content creators of their own - no longer do you need to work in a professional studio for a professional television network to be able to create your own content and broadcast it to the world through various 'livestreaming' sites. In fact, the rapid growth of sites like YouTube for general content, Twitch for gaming content, Soundcloud for music, are all a testament to the digital economy being here and now.
Much like digital audio workstations have replaced reel-to-reel tape, webcams, cell phones, and video workstations have replaced many professional studio equipment.
Similarly, online streaming sites for audio like Spotify, or iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Bandcamp are challenging the dominance of radio, just like YouTube, Dailymotion, Livestream, etc. all challenge classic television programming, and in both cases, Canadians are definitely 'tuning in' in droves.
The future in both of these cases is online, and the disruption of existing models is already happening - much like Canadians desired access in the past to local radio and television stations over-the-air, we are already seeing that shift to the online world, where there are much greater choices afforded, and the ability to join the discussion by producing your own content, even at home or on the go.
Many businesses would definitely argue for having a faster connection, as well - they need to be able to create their own advertising materials, including video, and upload them for prospective customers to see. It's rare in this day and age for someone to look up a local business in the phone book - they turn to search engines, they look for a business to have an online presence - its own website, or entry on Google Maps, its own Facebook page, or even other social media like Twitter or Tumblr or Instagram. Many businesses are actively engaged via social media platforms (including uploading videos as much as once a week!), which makes their internet connection and its speed extremely important. Clients may be sending them videos or other documents to view, and they need to respond in kind.
I would therefore argue that from a content creation perspective, the upstream bandwidth is actually just as vital as downstream - I'd aim for at least 5Mbps up, preferably 10Mbps as being usable for these purposes.
Most importantly, however, we need to be able to review these targets every few years as the situation changes. Rapid technological progression leads to an 'inflation' of sorts in the online world - what was once ultra fast one day soon becomes merely average, and then barely adequate. We once saved all our documents to floppy disks - now, very few people still even have the drives for them hooked up, and a memory card not even the size of your thumbnail can hold tens of thousands of times as much data. So too is it with network speeds - all that data needs to be sent and recieved somewhere, and advances in optical fiber technology have allowed us to cram more and more data down the same physical cables, by simply replacing the transceivers and repeaters the ends of each segment.
Canadians and the world as a whole are embracing this technological advancement - many other places in the world have seen that the digital economy is just that - a large and ever growing section of their economy that has rapidly become vital to commerce, to entertainment, and to communication in general. We need to ensure that we're not left behind in the face of that progress.

Tinytim - Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 22:54

Canada internet speeds are lacking greatly ...compared to the rest of the world. We are paying too much. We are being unfaily capped on usage. The UN has declared broadband internet as a human right. Canada do the right thing, make internet affordable and speeds that are usuable for every Canadian no matter where they live.

Omega - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 17:19

Question #1
Canadians only require a broadband internet connection. Upload and download speeds should be equal and the minimum rate of transfer should be at least 30mbit for the lowest tier connection. It should be priced under $50 after taxes.

Question #2
Without question, yes. I am a software developer and much of what I do takes place on the internet and relies heavily on infrastructure delivered via the internet. My workflows directly benefit from improved access to the internet and as things stand currently, I am not able to afford a connection that offers sufficient upload speeds.

Question #3
Price, price, price. The cost for data transfer keeps going up and up and the quality of the service continues to drop. This is without factoring in the fact that the rest of the world is leaving us in the dust. Canada needs a standard rate established for the cost of data transmission, coast to coast. Measurement of data transferred is not representative of resource consumption and should be outlawed. Internet connections should be pure, unmetered and untampered with. Companies that fail to deliver on the mandated transfer speeds should be penalized and made to understand the social and economic importance of our nation's participation in the global network.

Question #4
No, not even close. In fact, it's insulting to think that any target established shoots four times below our already laughable lowest levels of overpriced service. The minimum for everyone in Canada can easily be 30/30 Mbps.

Question #5
I'd wager that most activities will be less than satisfactory by a 5/1 Mbps connection. We would effectively be mandating a ghetto and the telecommunications providers would take such a target as a mandate to extort Canadians with poor service. They would also in the same breath say "If you have a problem with this, blame the CRTC" as they have done before during complaints processes.

frogtalk - Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 18:34

What are the basic services that Canadians require? Does this include broadband Internet? The Internet today, in 2016, requires broadband.. dial up will NOT suffice in any way, shape or form. The USA's definition of broadband: the minimum download speeds needed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps. This IMO, should be the absolute MINIMUM, since to get to MEGABYTES PER SECOND, you need to divide by 8. So you're looking at a minimum 3 megabytes per second download and3 84 KB upload, as far as the USA is concerned. Ideally (I'm rural and DO NOT NETFLIX, but do watch video podcasts and videos from online classes), I'd like to see 5 megabyte per second download (40mbps) and 1 megabyte per second upload (8mbps). With the dense content on websites now, this would be an absolute minimum that MIGHT last more than 2 years. With much of the rest of the world into GIGABIT per second downloads, I see no reason why Canada isn't capable of getting speeds much closer to those. Bandwidth caps need to quadruple at minimum to catch up to the rest of the world.
Is poor Internet service limiting your participation in the digital economy? yes, there are many online classes I'd be willing to look at taking, but with a measly 150 GB bandwidth cap (and that's going up to 150 in May, currently at 100GB), and 5mbps download on a good day, it simply takes too long to download many videos from instructors.
Are there other barriers regarding telecommunications services that are hindering your ability to participate in the digital economy? Yes, the cost of the Internet is too much money. I have had the SAME SERVICE AND SPEEDS for over 10 years now, yet my monthly bill for my Internet is up OVER $20 a month. This is unacceptable. The only reason I have the Internet now, is that my family scrimps and saves so that we can be online. If the Internet costs go up again, WITHOUT a speed increase or tripling my bandwidth, my family will be without the Internet. We are on disability, and $60 a month is too much for what we have for the Internet. We started with the same service for $37 a month (plus taxes).
Is the CRTC’s 5/1 Mbps* target sufficient for Canadians to participate in the digital economy? Not even close. I have 6mbps and if one member of the family is watching a video, NOTHING ELSE WORKS. the Net will freeze.
Are some types of online activities difficult with a 5/1 Mbps connection? Everything but maybe doing your email and some very light surfing can be done on those speeds. Audio would be OK.. Almost all video of any sort strains at 5 mbps, which is what I have. And multiple people using the 5mbps can only do very light surfing (no audio or video at all). The 5/1 might have been OK 5 or 10 years ago, but it's already far, far outdated before it's even implemented.

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