Tanveer Ahmed quoted in Wire Report: 50 Mbps speeds, LTE part of CRTC's new basic service requirements
Posted by The Wire Report in Ottawa on Dec 22, 2016

Tanveer Ahmed, Director of Economics and Finance, was interviewed by Charelle Evelyn of The Wire Report on the CRTC's decision concerning Basic Telecommunications Services. Yesterday, the CRTC declared that broadband access Internet service is now considered a basic telecommunications service and set the following targets:

  • Speeds of 50 Mbps download / 10 Mbps upload for fixed broadband Internet access services;
  • An unlimited data option for fixed broadband access services; and
  • the latest mobile wireless technology available, not only in homes and business, but also along major Canadian roads.

The CRTC is also establishing a new fund to support projects in areas that do not meet these targets. Applicants will be able to submit funding proposals in order to build or upgrade infrastructure for fixed and mobile broadband Internet access services. The fund:

  • makes available up to $750 million over the first five years;
  • is complementary to existing and future private investment and public funding;
  • focuses on underserved areas; and
  • is managed at arm's length by a third party.

The 50 Mbps standard is "a bold step by the CRTC," said Tanveer Ahmed, Director of Economics and Finance at Nordicity in a phone interview.

Acknowledging that there will still be challenges for fixed wireless and satellite connections, Ahmed said "from an economic point of view, 50 [Mbps] is an optimum threshold that a developed country should have and most of the developed countries are moving towards this direction."