As part of the Affordable Access Coalition the National Pensioners Federation applauds the CRTC on their announcement to establish “a universal service objective that Canadians – in rural and remote areas as well as in urban centres – should have access to voice services and broadband Internet access services on fixed and mobile wireless networks.”
They acknowledged the need for all Canadians to have access to unlimited internet plans, and declared that 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload is a “basic” telecommunications service which all Canadians should be able to access, and that this should be universally accessible by 90 percent of Canadians by 2021, and the remaining 10 percent within ten to fifteen years.

The CRTC also made recommendations to the Government of Canada regarding telecommunications affordability, recognizing the compelling evidence it heard from many low-income Canadians.

Gudrun Langolf of COSCO commented that this is “A major win for Canadian residents: No longer will highly profitable companies be able to escape their social responsibilities to provide universal access to cell phone service and internet service at reasonable rates. People living in areas outside of urban areas are clearly disadvantaged and mostly under-served. “

This decision will be welcome news to our members which discussed and passed resolutions at our annual convention this year regarding internet access and affordability. “We applaud this historic CRTC decision which will address accessibility issues and provide communication improvements for many seniors and First Nations living in rural areas. We are hopeful that the Federal Government and others will now address the affordability issues” said Herb John, NPF President.

Herb John
National Pensioners Federation

Gudrun Langolf
1st Vice president
(604) 266-7199

The Affordable Access Coalition comprises of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Canada (ACORN Canada); the Consumers’ Association of Canada; the Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of British Columbia; the National Pensioners Federation; and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.