Government of Canada works to improve rural connectivity

News release

Minister Bains announces decisions to support better coverage and more affordable prices

July 23, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario

Access to affordable mobile wireless coverage and high-speed Internet is critical to the continued vibrancy and success of rural Canada. The Government of Canada is committed to improving rural connectivity and allowing for the timely deployment of 5G, while increasing competition to lower prices for Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the introduction of smaller spectrum service areas, which will make it more economical for service providers, particularly smaller providers in rural areas, to access the spectrum they need to deliver telecommunications services.

Having the flexibility to access spectrum on a smaller scale will enable new uses and business cases that will be supported by 5G technologies, including enhanced connectivity in industrial parks and remote worksites.

In addition, Minister Bains announced a decision to modernize the fees for point-to-point radio licences. Modernizing these fees will support the development of 5G and benefit rural communities, where broadband deployment depends on the use of point-to-point systems. The new fee model is designed to promote more efficient spectrum use and reduce licence fees, making it more economical for providers to deliver services to Canadians.


“Canada’s future depends on connectivity, and no Canadian should be left behind—no matter where they live. Our decisions to introduce smaller spectrum service areas and modernize the fees for point-to-point radio licences will help ensure that the economic, social and security benefits of high-speed telecommunications networks are available to all Canadians.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“The decisions announced today will make it easier for small and regional service providers to acquire spectrum and deliver telecommunications services in rural areas. This is one more example of how our government is working to improve rural connectivity and making sure that Canadians in all areas of the country have access to the latest technologies, including 5G.”
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development

Quick facts

  • Radio frequency spectrum is a finite resource that is integral to Canada’s telecommunications infrastructure.

  • These initiatives support High-Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy, which commits to connecting every Canadian to affordable, high-speed Internet no matter where they live and to improving mobile cellular access from coast to coast to coast. 

  • These initiatives also align with the recently announced Digital Charter, which calls for all Canadians to have equal opportunity to participate in the digital world and the necessary tools to do so, including access and connectivity.


Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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