Western Canada to benefit from faster Internet
$10 million will improve high-speed coverage to rural and remote households in B.C., Alberta and Manitoba
July 11, 2017 – Winnipeg, Manitoba – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
More than 3,500 households in 22 rural and remote communities in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba will have improved high-speed Internet access thanks to an investment of almost $10 million from the Government of Canada.
The funding was announced by the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, during a visit to Commstream, an Internet service provider located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
This funding is being allocated through Connecting Canadians, a federal program that provides underserved communities with Internet access at speeds of five megabits per second or more.
The Connecting Canadians program allows Canadians in every region of the country to participate fully in the digital economy, from seizing new business opportunities to connecting with friends and family around the world.
The companies receiving funding are:
- Commstream of Winnipeg, which will receive $5 million to improve service for 1,900 households in communities throughout Manitoba.
- Arrow Technology Group of Edmonton, which will receive $2.6 million to improve service for 1,000 households in Alberta.
- CityWest of Prince Rupert, which will receive $1.7 million to improve service for 520 households in northern British Columbia.
- Community Wireless Networks of Bamfield, which will receive $425,000 to improve service for 120 households in remote British Columbia.
This fund is part of the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.
“Internet access is now an essential part of everyday life. Canadians go online for education, health services, entertainment and shopping. Faster Internet connections allow Canadians to innovate. It allows them to get the skills and training they need to qualify for well-paying jobs. The smallest businesses, no matter where they are located, can participate fully in the global marketplace and achieve global scale in a flash with faster Internet service. We can no longer consider high-speed Internet a luxury.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
“This investment will benefit the middle class and those working to join it in rural and remote areas in Western Canada. It will help create greater employment and business opportunities, better access to online education and e-health, improved communications and access to media, and increased access to online goods and services.”
– The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources
“The arrival of high-speed Internet will change remote communities in countless ways above and beyond people simply being able to download songs and movies. There are First Nations in other parts of the country who use the Internet to reduce trips to urban centres for routine medical appointments. A doctor can sit in his or her office in a major urban centre and see, and communicate with, the patient in the community nursing station. It improves really important things like health care and education. High-speed Internet can bring doctors’ eyes to the community and allow a teacher to take a student around the world.”
– Don Walker, Chief Financial Officer, CommStream
The $305-million Connecting Canadians program will extend and enhance broadband service to more than 300,000 households across Canada. All projects will be completed by 2019.
Additionally, the Government of Canada recently launched the new $500-million Connect to Innovate program to extend and enhance broadband service in rural and remote communities.
Follow the Minister on Twitter: @MinisterISED
Karl W. Sasseville
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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