Tuesday 26 August 2014

Connecting Canadians Funding 26 Aug 2014

I last reported on the Connecting Canadians - Digital Canada 150 (CCDC 150) in the blogentry of 22 Jul 2014.  I mentioned at that time there were two components to CCDC 150 - a rural component and a northern component.

Today, 26 Aug 2014, the Prime Minister announced significant financial support to provide upgraded high-speed Internet access to approximately 12,000 households in Nunavut and the Nunavik region of northern Quebec.

There seems to be two versions of the announcement with only minor differences. In the one I refer to as Version A, identified in web address as "pm-announces…" [sic] there is no reference to monetary amounts. In Version B, identified as "connecting-canadian-fundings" [sic] the amount of $50 Million is committed. This about one-sixth of the total $305 Million allotted in the CCDC150 funding envelope.  

Under the CCDC150 guidelines as addressed in the website FAQs , the program will fund up to 50 percent of eligible project costs for rural areas and 75 percent for Aboriginal communities. The same guidelines also state, "Within each component, there will be no pre-determined regional allocations" so more funds may be provided to the Northern component. There is no clear definition of what constitutes a rural area or an Aboriginal community.

Fund recipients in both rural and northern components can "stack" funds from other sources such as other levels of government and in specific cases from other federal departments and funding programs.

The major difference between the northern and rural components is the target download speed. For the northern component, it is 3-5 Mbps; for the rural component, it is 5 Mbps. As noted in this blog entry, without a firm sustained speed target or a predetermined measurement standard, this is a rather meaningless target. 

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