Question Period Note: BROADBAND COVERAGE MAPS
- Reference number:
- Date received:
- Jan 4, 2023
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
- Name of Minister:
- Hutchings, Gudie (Hon.)
- Title of Minister:
- Minister of Rural Economic Development
How does the broadband coverage map work, particularly for the Universal Broadband Fund?
• The National Broadband Internet Service Availability Map shows broadband and mobile coverage across Canada.
• Canadians can use the Map to find Internet Service Providers and services that are available in their area.
• Governments and the private sector use the Map to assess where connectivity is lacking, and how to best invest new resources.
• The recent Map update used data collected from Internet service providers, and from federal, provincial and territorial partners that fund broadband investments.
• With these investments, 93.5% of Canadian homes today have access to high-speed Internet or are targeted to receive access through existing program commitments.
• Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) has improved the accuracy of its assessment of fixed wireless service claims, which are reflected on the recent Map update. The Map will be updated twice a year, or more often if required.
• Should Canadians feel that they are not getting the service they are paying for, they can contact the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-Television Services (CCTS) by phone at 1-888-221-1687, or visit CCTS website at ccts-cprst.ca for more information on how to file a complaint.
• If Internet service providers (ISPs) feel that the information on the Map is not accurate or they have updated information to share, they can visit the Maps website, fill out the necessary forms and submit feedback to ISED at email@example.com.
Internet coverage information on the Map is collected and updated by Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) using data collected by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and ISED through annual surveys and ongoing consultation with ISPs, federal partners, industry associations, provinces and territories, and others.
The Map also reflects broadband funding from all federal government sources, including ISED, the CRTC, Infrastructure Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
The Map, and its underlying data, shows retail broadband Internet services available and wholesale backbone infrastructure in Canada. This data is also used for the statistical measure of broadband Internet service availability in Canada as well as the administration of all Government of Canada broadband related contribution programs. For example, the Universal Broadband Fund used the Map data to allow applicants to identify underserved areas at the 250-metre road segment level and submit them to the program easily.
The October 2022 map update included new Internet service availability information based on data obtained from January, 2021 until summer 2022. This version of the Map also incorporated a new process for verifying the accuracy of fixed wireless coverage.
The fixed wireless assessment tool determines the capability of a fixed wireless service provider to deliver a high-quality 50/10 Mbps broadband service to an area based on the type of technology used. The October 2022 update is the first time the tool has been used to validate data from wireless Internet service providers who have claimed 50/10 Mbps coverage.
The Map will be updated at least twice annually moving forward. Projects selected under the Universal Broadband Fund will be added to Map during the next update following the signing of a contribution agreement with the funding recipient.
At the last update in January 2021, 90% of Canadians had access to 50/10 Mbps service. With today’s update, 92.3% of Canadians are now covered by 50/10 Mbps service. This number goes up to 93.5% if we consider broadband projects with signed contribution agreements that are in progress.
Canada is a very large country and discrepancies in the data are possible. Should discrepancies be noted, users should first contact the Internet service provider in question for initial verification. Once done, and if the information does appear to be inadequate, users can contact ISED at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on next steps.