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Government makes high-speed commitment

As part of its attempt to ensure a strong Canadian presence in what it calls the "new networked economy," the Canadian government has made a firm commitment to bring high-speed broadband access to all...


December 1, 2000  


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As part of its attempt to ensure a strong Canadian presence in what it calls the “new networked economy,” the Canadian government has made a firm commitment to bring high-speed broadband access to all communities nation-wide by 2004.

At the recent Software 2000 show in Halifax, Minister of Industry, John Manley, announced that a National Broadband Task Force will be established to advise the Government of Canada on how to best make high-speed broadband Internet services available to businesses and residents in all Canadian communities by 2004.

To start things off, the Task Force (to be chaired by Dr. David Johnston, president of the University of Waterloo), will map out a strategy and advise the Government — by March 31, 2001 — on the best approaches for achieving this commitment.

“Through the Connecting Canadians initiative, and a dynamic private sector, more and more Canadians are realizing the benefits of the Internet and information and communications technologies,” said Manley. “Connecting Canadians” is the federal government’s vision and plan to make Canada the most connected country in the world.

Manley said the government’s commitment is the first step toward “maximizing these benefits by providing access to the necessary tools — high-speed broadband networks — which will allow all Canadian communities to reap the rewards of the 21st Century economy.”

The Task Force’s mandate will include consideration of, and advice on, the following:

the needs and characteristics of communities which, without government involvement, may not be able to gain access to private sector-delivered high-speed services by 2004;

the technical, institutional and financial barriers which could delay provision of such services by the private sector;

the roles governments might play in overcoming these barriers; and

the carriers and other organizations that may be receptive to deploying these services in such communities and what the government would need to engage them.

Members of the Task Force are expected to be announced later this year.


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