Unfortunately, it’s a different story with Bell Canada and Bell Aliant. Nearly two years after we issued our directive, Bell has extended broadband service to only three of its 112 communities. Broadband service is more and more of a necessity for full participation in the digital economy and in our life as Canadians. The funds were collected over a number of years from Bell subscribers. I urge our friends at Bell to give a higher priority to the needs of the people in these rural and remote communities by accelerating their rollout plans.
The deadline to complete the broadband rollout is 2014. The deferral account case involves hundreds of millions of dollars collected by large telephone providers as surplus funds. In 2010, the CRTC ordered a portion be refunded to consumers and remainder spent on broadband services.