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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Historic subsidies for rural broadband projects clear the way for CRTC to lower prices for weary consumers and remove barriers to independent investment: TekSavvy

ISP says billions in subsidies will close Canada’s digital divide, clearing way for CRTC’s 2019 rate decision to deliver price relief for consumers and accelerate $250 million in planned investment

November 10, 2020. Chatham, Ontario. TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TekSavvy), Canada’s largest independent service provider (ISP), today welcomed the federal government’s announcement of the Universal Broadband Fund, which allocates $1.75 billion in new public subsidies for broadband infrastructure projects in rural and remote Canadian communities and $600 million in subsidies for satellite-based internet providers, supplementing over $5 billion in funding available under other federal programs. TekSavvy further welcomed the Ontario government’s announcement of its historic plan to spend nearly $1 billion over six years to improve and expand broadband and cellular access across the province.

TekSavvy says that this historic investment of taxpayer dollars in rural broadband projects provides major incentives for carriers to accelerate network investments to help close Canada’s digital divide, clearing the way for the CRTC to implement its 2019 final rate decision to deliver price relief for consumers across Canada. The combination of billions in public funds and the reasonable rates of the CRTC’s 2019 rate decision properly balances the government’s objectives of more affordable consumer pricing, increased competition and network investment, since the CRTC’s 2019 decision enables independent ISPs, like TekSavvy, to accelerate and expand ongoing investments in their own network infrastructure in underserved areas.

TekSavvy’s 5-year investment plan totals over $250 million, including over $100 million for high-speed network infrastructure connecting over 60,000 residences and businesses in underserved communities across Southwestern Ontario. TekSavvy noted its ongoing investments in Fibre to the Home (FTTH) network facilities connecting 38,000 homes and businesses in communities across the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, as well as its expanded LTE wireless network to bring rural high-speed internet service to over 30,000 underserved rural households and businesses within Elgin, Lambton and Middlesex counties. In July, TekSavvy was awarded a contract by the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT), a regional broadband expansion project delivered in partnership with member municipalities and the government of Ontario and Canada, to construct a FTTH network to bring high-speed internet to Delaware Nation Moravian of the Thames (Delaware Nation), a First Nation community located in Chatham-Kent. TekSavvy was also recently selected by SWIFT to construct two FTTH projects to deploy 52 kilometres of fibre-optic line to in the communities of Stoney Point and Lakeview, within the Town of Lakeshore. Representing a collective total investment of $5.8 million, this new project will provide high-speed internet service to 1,486 households by late 2021.

“The single greatest threat to TekSavvy’s quarter billion dollar investment plan is the CRTC’s delay in implementing its 2019 final wholesale rate order”, said Marc Gaudrault, TekSavvy’ Chief Executive Officer. “Healthy independent competitors, like TekSavvy, are ready and willing to accelerate and expand our broadband investments bringing high speed access, innovative services, competitive choice and lower prices for more Canadians – we simply require the rate certainty and cost corrections ordered by the CRTC in 2019 to take effect ” he added.

About TekSavvy

TekSavvy has been proudly serving Canadians with reliable telecom services for more than 20 years and has won numerous awards for the quality of its service and for its commitment to fighting for consumers’ rights online. With offices in Chatham, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec TekSavvy is Canada’s largest independent telecom service company with over 300,000 customers from coast to coast.

For more information contact:

Trevor Campbell,
The iPR Group 647-201-5409

John Settino,
The iPR Group 416-662-2955

media.relations@teksavvy.ca

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