Interventions Phase 2: Intervenor 615

Document Name: 2015-134.227024.2524015.Interventions Phase 2(1$3jj01!).html

I strongly believe that broadband services should be considered as basic in the digital economy, and thus be supported by subsidies. Despite significant progress, there continues to exist a significant set of digital divides in Canada (both rural-urban and low vs. high income). For example, while urban Canadians have universal availability to wireline broadband at the lowest broadband speed (1.5-4.9 Mbps), only 87% of rural households have such broadband speeds available. At higher speeds this difference becomes considerably more pronounced. For speeds greater than 10 Mbps rural availability drops to 37% (see CRTC Communications Monitoring Report 2015, p. 211). There are also marked differences for internet use and income. For example, while 98.4% of Canadians in the highest income quintile make use of the internet at home, only 59.7% of Canadians from the lowest income quintile do so (the average for all quintiles is 83.9%) (see CRTC Communications Monitoring Report 2015, p. 22).The effects of the digital divide limit progress to a more equitable society with full participation and high well-being of all members. Broadband should be supported by governmental subsidies to level off current inequities.