Opportunities in Canada’s broadband networks.

In 2019 Canada’s federal, provincial, and territorial ministers of innovation and economic development resolved to make broadband a national priority, resulting in the High Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy

Broadband networks are an important component of the knowledge economy, and affect many sectors and economic activities. Investments in broadband technology drives growth, innovation, efficiency, and global competitiveness. The 2020 formal launch of the $1.75 billion Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is an important component of Canada’s Connectivity Strategy. Projects funded under the UBF (as well as through other public and private investments) will help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030. The UBF supports high-speed Internet projects across the country – ones that will bring Internet speeds of 50/10 Megabits per second (Mbps) to rural and remote communities.

Funding includes:

Various programs benefiting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are a direct result of the UBF initiative. In 2021, the Canadian government invited SMEs to develop a cost competitive fiber optic sensing technology. And Innovative Solutions Canada launched a new challenge – led by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) – to build on their innovative ultrafast laser inscription of fiber Bragg grating technology. This technology is used in many Canadian industry sectors, including civil structure health monitoring (e.g., bridges, hydroelectric dams, wind turbines), energy production and environmental monitoring (e.g., oil pipelines, gas turbines), and green technologies (i.e., electric vehicle battery performance).

In addition to the UBF Fund, the Canadian government has identified and outlined key targeted areas under their connectivity strategy. The Government of Canada is:

Broadband results in the development of new inventions, new and improved goods and services, new processes, new business models, and increases economic competitiveness and flexibility. Canada’s investment in a comprehensive connectivity strategy will benefit not only Canadian SMEs, but foreign SMEs with goods and services designed for the connectivity sector.


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