Economic Stimulus

January, 28, 2009

The 2009 federal budget contains several items of interest to wireless ISPs.

The government plans to allocate $12 billion in new infrastructure stimulus funding over two years with the intent that, "Canada emerges from this economic crisis with more modern and greener infrastructure."

In addition to traditional infrastructure, this funding includes "shovel-ready projects that can start this upcoming construction season" including broadband Internet access.

The government plans to make an investment in knowledge infrastructure by providing "$225 million over three years to Industry Canada to develop and implement a strategy on extending broadband coverage to all currently unserved communities beginning in 2009-10."

Large carriers have traditionally been the recipients of economic stimulus funds. We believe that these funds would have greater social and economic impact if allocated to small and medium sized enterprises such as WISPs.

Most WISPs are successful, self-sustained businesses. We are well adapted to our markets. As part of the federal government's economic stimulus initiatives, and to encourage expansion and competition in the telecommunications marketplace, we advocate that part of the broadband services funding for rural regions be allocated to non-dominant carriers and wireless Internet service providers who are uniquely positioned to serve the rural market.