Canada is now jumping into the broadband stimulus game.
Industry Canada has issued a call for applications for the government's new initiative, "Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians." The initiative was launched in July as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, which gives $225 million to Industry Canada for the development and implementation of a strategy to extend and improve broadband coverage.
While the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) reported that broadband had penetrated 94 percent of Canadian households, 22 percent of rural households are still without broadband access. Industry Canada said it will favor applications that place an emphasis on bringing broadband services to "unserved" customers--those subscribers that have dial-up or no Internet access at all.
Applications are due to Industry Canada by Oct. 23, and winners will be announced either late this year or early next year, with projects set to begin in 2010. Under the plan, winners will get federal government support at up to 50 percent of cost for network equipment purchases and hardware/software upgrades, as well as long-term network capacity investment costs.
- see Satellite Today
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