Universal Broadband Fund – E-blast #8 – March 2021

The Universal Broadband Fund places importance on consultation and engagement. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate that they have engaged the communities impacted by their projects in a meaningful way. During the application process, community support can help one project stand out to assessors over another. It demonstrates that applicants have made serious efforts to ensure communities have a say in project proposals. This engagement may also contribute in meeting the requirements of the program for both mobile and broadband initiatives.

Incorporating community feedback can also improve project outcomes and lead to more thoughtful project design. Staying in touch with the impacted communities builds good will for the project and also allows Canadians to understand when they will benefit from improved Internet service.

While the primary purpose of the Universal Broadband Fund is to connect households, the arrival of broadband infrastructure in a community can have many types of economic and social benefits that will be taken into account during the assessment. Application documents, including Template 6, provide the opportunity to outline these complementary positive impacts.

In order to support these claims, we recommend that applicants provide letters of support from partners, such as municipal, business or social services associates, who could be impacted, offer new services, improve public programs or improve socio-economic participation of under-represented groups as a result of improved access to high-speed Internet.

Organizations whose internal corporate policies, social responsibility or philanthropic practices have a positive impact on communities can also submit letters of description from their senior management.

In addition to the above, applicants may also submit the following documents in Template 6 to demonstrate the quality of their project in other respects:

  • Commitment by executive management to facilitate access to passive infrastructure.
  • Access to third party infrastructure if it is needed for project completion.
  • Letters of financial support showing a firm or conditional commitment from third parties.

Remember that you should list the contact information for each of the letters you will be attaching to your application in Template 6. Applicants can submit multiple letters of support within their application or have multiple signatures of support within a letter.

Ideally, letters that discuss community benefits should go beyond simply expressing support for a project. Descriptions of benefits should demonstrate the specific, tangible, and expected benefits a project is likely to provide within and around its targeted community. For a list of what these community benefits look like please reference our application guide: Annex 3: Application form completion instructions

50 – 30 Challenge

You will recall in a previous e-blast we brought to your attention the 50 – 30 Challenge. As we look ahead to Women's History Month and International Women's Day, issues of representation and participation are fresh in our minds

As a reminder, the 50 – 30 Challenge is an initiative recently launched by the Government of Canada and led by Minister Champagne, which is focused on developing a more diverse, inclusive and vibrant economic future for all Canadians.

The goal of the Challenge is to encourage organizations to reach 50% gender parity and 30% representation from under-represented groups, including racialized persons, those who identify as LGBTQ2, people living with disabilities, as well as First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, at the board and senior management levels. The target is aspirational over time, and the initiative is a voluntary initiative.

We have a big task ahead of us to bring about positive change, and we are seeking your help and participation.

Join a network of 800 like-minded organizations across all sectors and regions of Canada who are investing in diverse talent markets.

Please visit the following link for more information on the challenge: www.canada.ca/50-30-Challenge, We strongly encourage your to consider signing up and the joining the hundreds of organizations that have done so already.

If you have already joined the Challenge and know of a company in your supply chain or other organizations in your professional network, please also consider inviting them to join.

If you have any questions, please email 50-30ChallengeInfo@canada.ca

Still have questions? Contact us at get-connected@canada.ca