Up until this past Wednesday, local landline telephone service was the only service the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) felt was essential for all Canadians. But this has now changed.

In our modern age, broadband internet has been added to this. As a result, the CRTC is requiring that Canada’s internet providers begin working towards increasing broadband services and speeds in rural and isolated areas in the country.

While this might not seem so exciting or groundbreaking for many Canadians who take their Internet service for granted, for those without access, this is changing the future.

Virtual roads will go where our physical roads do not yet, in this country. The information superhighway will lead the way to a different landscape of possibilities, and along with it, a new ‘trans Canada highway’ is about to emerge, and the effects could be remarkable.

It’s estimated that 18% of Canadian households don’t currently have access to download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps. Added to this, they do not currently have the option of unlimited data.

In order to reduce this percentage to 10% by 2021, service providers are now being required by the commission to pay into a fund over the next five years that will be available to help finance new infrastructure.

It’s projected that the fund will grow to $750 million by 2021. Service providers will use this money to help bring high speed internet to areas of the country that currently do not have it.

"The future of our economy, our prosperity and our society — indeed, the future of every citizen — requires us to set ambitious goals, and to get on with connecting all Canadians for the 21st century," said Jean-Pierre Blais, the CRTC's chair, at a news conference in Quebec.

"Today's decision signals a fundamental shift in our regulations for basic services from voice-related issues to broadband-related issues."

For more information, visit CBC.ca.