Sunday, May 09, 2010

Broadband politics

Tuesday of this past week: "Michael Ignatieff commits to full high-speed internet and expanded mobile phone coverage in rural Canada."
Using proceeds from the upcoming spectrum auction slated for 2011, a Liberal government would invest to achieve an interim target of 100 percent high-speed internet connectivity of at least 1.5 Mbps for all Canadian communities within three years of being elected. A Liberal government would also seek to set a more ambitious goal for 2017, Canada’s 150th anniversary as a country.
Today, from Tony Clement:
The federal government plans to expand broadband internet access to several rural and remote locations across the country, Industry Minister Tony Clement announced Sunday.

Fifty-two projects are "conditionally approved" to receive funding of $76.7 million, Clement told reporters in Mississauga, Ont.
I'm sure there's no cynicism warranted....right. So we finally see some movement on an issue that's more important than rinks and snowmobile trails, what they have prioritized with the roll out of infrastructure funding thus far. This is the "first funding announcement" from the Economic Action Plan commitment to rural broadband. Nice, after what, a year and a half they're finally getting around to it, the same week Ignatieff makes his announcement.

Whether the Conservative plan will cover the communities the Liberal plan does, however, and the progress made will be something to watch. For now, funding figure announced, number of projects thrown out there, numbers that serve to quiet the discussion on a given issue. Same tactic deployed on Status of Women funding this week, throw out a bunch of numbers in a defensive bamboozle. Politics covered, check.