FMCC Comments on CRTC Broadband Fund Development

FMCC is participating in CRTC 2017-112 “Development of the Commission’s broadband funding regime”. These public proceedings examine matters related to the establishment of the broadband funding regime, including its governance, operating, and accountability frameworks, as well as eligibility and assessment criteria for proposed projects. For more information, the public notice is posted here.

Requests for Information in CRTC 2017-122: Responses of the First Mile Connectivity Consortium

On Nov. 20, 2017, FMCC filed our response to questions asked by the CRTC regarding this file. In developing this material, we refer to our prior interventions, which proposed guiding principles based on concepts of reconciliation, community engagement, and community development, and discussed topics related to:

  • Governance, operating, and accountability frameworks;
  • Eligibility criteria; and
  • Assessment criteria.

We stress that the Commission must determine how exactly “meaningful consultation” is to be defined in this context. For one definition of “meaningful consultation” used by the Government of Canada, please see our responses to Question 6 in this latest submission. We also refer to efforts by Native Americans to address this issue, such as those undertaken by the Navajo Nation Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.

To read more about FMCC’s involvement in the proceedings leading to the development of this fund, and to download our past interventions, visit this post. 

FMCC is seeking means to ensure access to reliable, affordable and scalable broadband in rural, remote, northern and Indigenous communities, in ways that involve residents of these communities in the provision of digital services. This approach requires “first mile” solutions in the design, development and operations of telecommunication infrastructure and services – and the policy and regulatory frameworks that supports their deployment. Our focus is on those regulations and policies that establish an enabling environment that invests in connections and organizations based in affected communities and regions.

Our position is contrasted against “last mile” initiatives that focus on upgrades to urban-based infrastructures in the belief that they will eventually serve the remote and rural regions; an approach that has not worked for rural, remote, Northern and Indigenous communities, despite years and billions of public dollars invested in corporate telecom “last mile” solutions.

Importantly, our FMCC member organizations provide and support the delivery of broadband-enabled public services such as online education and telehealth, as well as entertainment services for household consumers. This whole community approach frames infrastructure, bandwidth, and associated capacities as locally-managed resources that can be aggregated into sustainable, appropriate, community-managed deployment and adoption methods.

Click on the link below to download our submission:

These proceedings are ongoing. To download submissions from other groups, visit the CRTC’s Notice of Consultation page.