Skip to main content
Welcome to
super saver spring
offer ends april 20
save over $140
save over 85%
$0.99
per week for 24 weeks
Welcome to
super saver spring
$0.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

CRTC chair Ian Scott is seen at the start of the first day of hearings on mobile wireless service, on Feb. 18, 2020 in Gatineau, Que.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Canada’s internet network companies seem to be having difficulty getting timely, affordable access to telephone poles in underserved parts of the country.

CRTC chairman Ian Scott says the industry has described the pole problem as by far biggest barrier to extending broadband services in rural and remote areas of Canada

He says the CRTC is exploring solutions and submissions that are being accepted until Nov. 30.

Story continues below advertisement

Scott made the comments in a video speech to a two-day virtual conference for Canada’s independent internet service providers (ISPs).

He says deployment of broadband internet that meets the CRTC’s minimum standards to all parts of Canada has become a bigger priority since the COVID-19 pandemic hit this year.

Scott says the CRTC’s goal is to have 90 per cent of Canada’s homes and businesses covered by acceptable fixed broadband by the end of 2021, up from 45 per cent at the end of 2019.

“Curiously, achieving the speed targets of our universal service objective may be the smallest obstacle to overcome,” Scott told the 2020 ISP Summit Tuesday.

“Ensuring Canada’s less well-served communities have access to unlimited data packages, competition from a number of service providers and high-quality service may prove to be even greater challenges,” Scott said.

The conference is an annual event held for ISPs that aren’t owned by one of Canada’s phone or cable companies, which collectively serve about 90 per cent of internet subscribers.

The CRTC is in the midst of settling a long-standing pricing dispute between the independent ISPs and the network owners that supply them with wholesale access to the internet.

Story continues below advertisement

Scott said he wouldn’t discuss the CRTC’s position on wholesale internet rates until it completes its review of a 2019 decision that’s been the subject of multiple appeals.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies