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Universal Broadband Fund - E-blast #3 – January 2021

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Happy New Year!

As many of you know, the deadline for the Rapid Response Stream is fast approaching. Applicants are required to complete their submission by January 15, 2021. With this in mind, we have been receiving a number of questions on what differentiates the Rapid Response Stream and the main Universal Broadband Fund program. While both programs are quite similar, there are some key differences highlighted below:

  1. Deadlines: Rapid Response Stream deadline is January 15 whereas the Universal Broadband Fund deadline is February 15, 2021.
  2. Project Timelines: While both programs aim for rapid broadband deployment, the most important difference remains the timelines of the projects. Projects under the Rapid Response Stream should be deployed as quickly as possible and must be completed by November 15, 2021, whereas projects under the main Universal Broadband Fund may have until March 31, 2027 to be completed.
  3. Funding Contribution: The maximum funding contribution under the Rapid Response Stream is $5,000,000, but there is no similar cap under the main Universal Broadband Fund.
  4. Eligible Costs: Any technology that can be used to improve household Internet connectivity is eligible under both the main Universal Broadband Fund and the Rapid Response Stream. Customer premise equipment can be considered as an eligible cost under the Rapid Response Stream, if it is required to make the access available. All other eligible costs are the same for the Rapid Response Stream and the main Universal Broadband Fund.

Under the Rapid Response Stream, applications are assessed as they are submitted and can be approved while the intake period is still ongoing. Applications submitted earlier in the process have a greater chance of being selected than those submitted later, therefore we encourage potential applicants to apply as early as possible. Rapid Response Stream applicants are invited to consult the main Universal Broadband Fund application guide for information on the eligibility criteria, advice on how to fill out the requested documents and learn about tools that can assist them in the development of their application.

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

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