Government of Canada undertakes measures to advance telecommunication services in Canada

News Release

June 5, 2017 – Toronto, Ontario – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

When it comes to telecommunications, Canadian consumers deserve the best. The Government of Canada will encourage the advancement of telecommunication services by focusing on the three things that matter most to Canadian families and businesses: high-quality networks, broad-reaching coverage and affordable prices.  

At a time when middle-class Canadians are concerned about the rising cost of these services, the Government will encourage more private sector competition and investment in services that have become essential in a digital economy.

That was the message delivered by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, at the Canadian Telecom Summit. The summit is an annual gathering of business leaders and policy-makers that represent the country’s telecommunications, broadcasting and information technology industries.

The Innovation and Skills Plan is a multi-year strategy that will create more well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it. This plan will also ensure that Canadians develop the skills for the jobs of the future. Under this plan, the Government is working with industry to encourage low-cost Internet services.

The Government is also encouraging providers to offer all Canadians:

  • More options at better price points: The Government is directing the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, which regulates the industry, to reconsider a recent decision to exclude Wi-Fi-based service providers from access to roaming services. This action could potentially open the door to companies that use innovative solutions to provide Canadians with more affordable wireless service options.
  • Better coverage: The Government is releasing its decision on a streamlined licensing framework to support the deployment of next-generation satellites. This action will allow more satellite-based providers to enter the market and extend high-speed Internet services to Canadians in rural and remote communities across the country.
  • Faster networks: The Government is launching a public consultation on the release of spectrum to support the deployment of 5th generation (5G) wireless networks. 5G is an emerging technology that has the potential to meet the explosion in consumer and industrial demand for faster and higher-capacity mobile networks.

Quotes

“The prosperity of Canadians depends on their access to affordable Internet and wireless services. These services are no longer luxuries. They are basic tools for all Canadians regardless of where they live. They need these services to do their jobs, conduct business, learn new skills and build communities. Our government is prepared to work with this country’s telecom providers to ensure that Canadians have access to the services that allow them to compete in a global and digital economy. Together, we can ensure that Canada remains a global leader in the development and adoption of new telecom technologies.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick Facts

  • Canada’s networks rank second among G7 countries for average wireless connection speeds.

  • 98 percent of Canadians have access to the latest wireless technologies.

  • Canadian consumers pay more for basic cellphone service than consumers in the U.S. and almost twice as much as consumers in the U.K.

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Contacts

Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @MinisterISED

Pauline Tam
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
343-291-2500

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca


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