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Broadband declared a basic service in Canada

Ruling creates higher speed targets and a fund to upgrade broadband infrastructure in rural and remote areas.

Canadians can soon expect minimum download speeds of 50 megabits per second, roughly 10 times the current target.
Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images

If you live in Canada, you can expect a future in which high-speed internet connections will always be a way of life.

Broadband internet access is now considered a basic service in Canada, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the country's telecommunications regulator, said Wednesday. The decision mandates higher download speed targets and creation of a C$750 million fund to build and reinforce broadband infrastructure in rural and remote areas over five years.

"These goals are ambitious, they will not be easy to achieve and they will cost money. But we have no choice," Commission Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said at a news conference, according to the Financial Post.

"The future of our economy, our prosperity, our society -- indeed the future of every citizen -- requires us to set ambitious goals, and to get on with connecting all Canadians for the 21st century," he said.

The ruling requires minimum download speeds of 50 megabits per second and upload speeds of 10 megabits per second -- roughly 10 times existing speed targets, the Financial Post reported. Canadians will be able to subscribe to unlimited data plans for fixed broadband service, as well as have access to the latest wireless technologies in the home and on major roads.