Rural and remote communities in Alberta will benefit from faster Internet

News release

Residents in 39 communities to get access to new or faster Internet through $22.5-million investment

March 15, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta

Internet access serves as more than just a convenience; it is an essential means by which citizens, businesses and institutions access information, offer services and create opportunities that could otherwise be out of reach. Through an investment of $17.1 million, the Government of Canada is helping to bring new or improved high-speed Internet to Canadians in 39 rural and remote communities, enabling residents to get online. Of the 39 communities that will benefit from this investment, five are Indigenous communities.

The funding was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, at the Central Public Library in Calgary.

This investment will help residents of these communities connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age. It will also help connect schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to networks that are essential to their services.

The Government of Canada’s $500-million Connect to Innovate program is investing in building the digital backbone of high-speed Internet networks. Backbone networks are the digital highways that move data in and out of communities. These highways carry large amounts of data that are essential for schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to function in a digital world.

Quotes

“Access to high-speed Internet is not a luxury; it’s essential. High-speed Internet service is a basic tool that all Canadians should have access to, regardless of where they live. Canadians need this service to do business, upgrade their education and build stronger communities. Thanks to our Connect to Innovate program, more Canadians will be able to participate fully in the digital economy.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • Of the $22.5 million invested in Alberta:

    • $17.1 million will come from the Connect to Innovate program; and
    • $5.4 million will come from other contributors.
       
  • The organizations receiving federal funding are:

    • Arrow Technology Group GP Limited – $7.05 million to provide 10 communities—five of which are Indigenous communities—and 29 institutions with access to high-speed Internet services;
    • Buried Glass Inc. – $7.34 million to provide 18 communities and 116 institutions with access to high-speed Internet services;
    • Beacon Broadband Inc. – $476,000 to provide three communities and four institutions with access to high-speed Internet services;
    • Cardston County – $212,000 to provide a community and an institution with access to high-speed Internet services;
    • Rigstar Communications – $216,000 to provide enhanced Internet connectivity to 164 households in the community of Kew;
    • GPNetworks – $521,000 to provide one community and three of its institutions with access to high-speed Internet service; and
    • Missing Link Internet Inc. – $1.33 million to provide five communities and nine institutions with access to high-speed Internet services.
       
  • The $22.5 million in funding is for backbone networks that will bring fibre optic cable to 39 communities, connect or enhance connectivity for up to 168 institutions, and indirectly improve Internet connections for a number of households across Alberta.

  • Connect to Innovate is also funding last-mile connections to households that don’t have high-speed Internet. Thanks to this investment in high-capacity networks in remote and underserved communities, all Albertans, including those living in Indigenous communities, will be able to fully participate in the digital economy.

  • Connect to Innovate is part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class.

Associated links

Contacts

Follow the department on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Karl W. Sasseville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
343-291-2500

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca


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