December 21, 2016 (Toronto) - The Intelligent Community Forum Canada (ICF Canada)’s position paper called “Broadband: The Essential Utility” supports the CRTC’s announcement today declaring broadband Internet access a basic service for all Canadians.
ICF Canada has been working through its Technical Committee, headed by ICF Canada member, Campbell Patterson, on a position paper which supports the CRTC’s establishment of a universal service objective that all Canadians, whether 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 including new broadband speed targets and new funding for broadband projects in areas that don’t meet these targets. ICF Canada agrees with the CRTC’s directions which will fundamentally shift its regulations related to basic services from voice-related to broadband-related.
The purpose of ICF Canada’s position paper is to make an evidence-based case that broadband should be declared an essential utility and that equitable access to the Internet should also be a right of every Canadian as entrenched in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms based on the principle of “equality before and under law and equal protection and benefit of law”.
According to John G. Jung, Chairman and Co-Founder of ICF and the Executive Director of ICF Canada, “In the digital age equitable access to the Internet is a determinant of one’s equal access to healthcare, education, government, marketplaces and the right to “pursue the gaining of a livelihood” as stated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. There are many countries, such as Finland, that have already declared the Internet and access to High-Speed Broadband services a human right. It is now time for Canada to step up and do so as well.” Incidentally, the United Nations, declared in 2012, that, “the promotion, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the Internet,” to be fundamental to, “all Rights under Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development.”
ICF Canada’s position paper is available through its website: www.icf-canada.com. It was developed with members from the public, private and institutional sectors across Canada that are from ICF-recognized “Intelligent Communities”.
ABOUT ICF CANADA: ICF Canada is a national non-profit dedicated to supporting its globally ICF-qualified “Intelligent Communities” in Canada, currently numbering 31 from rural and remote to its largest urban centres across Canada. These communities embrace technology to help enable them to transform into smart and connected environments but recognizes that people are at the heart of these communities. Accordingly, these Intelligent Communities leverage holistically smart infrastructure, education, innovation ecosystems, digital inclusion, public advocacy and collaborative leadership as well as all forms of sustainability- economic, social as well as environmental - to create successful communities in Canada for the digital era. For more information see: www.icf-canada.com
ABOUT the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF): The Intelligent Community Forum is a global network of cities and regions with a think tank at its center. Its mission is to help communities use information and communications technology (ICT) to create inclusive prosperity, tackle social and governance challenges and enrich their quality of life. For more information see: www.intelligentcommunity.org
Mr. Campbell Patterson
Chair, ICF Canada Technical Committee
Mr. John G. Jung
Executive Director ICF Canada (Toronto)
Chairman & Co-founder, ICF (New York)