Rural communities in Saskatchewan will benefit from faster Internet

News release

Residents in 30 communities to get access to higher-speed Internet thanks to a $21.6-million investment

June 8, 2018 – Regina, Saskatchewan

Fast Internet is more than just a convenience; communities, businesses and institutions need it to offer new services and create new opportunities. That’s why the Government of Canada is investing over $12 million through the Connect to Innovate program to bring access to high-speed or faster Internet to 30 rural communities and up to 163 institutions in Saskatchewan.

The funding was announced today by the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, at the George Bothwell Branch of the Regina Public Library.

This investment will help residents in those communities connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age.

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

“For rural communities in Saskatchewan, digital investment through the Connect to Innovate program enhances opportunities for residents of all ages. This important investment will support industries like farming and manufacturing in data collection and observation, students and youth in learning, and residents in day-to-day life with connected devices. It’s all part of our government’s plan to help create opportunity in all communities, including rural communities in the prairies.”

– The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“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. Our communities need this service to do business, upgrade their education and build stronger communities. Thanks to our Connect to Innovate program, more people will be able to participate fully in the digital economy.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“SaskTel is pleased to partner with the federal government to improve broadband services in rural Saskatchewan.  This partnership will help us provide the people of rural Saskatchewan with the services they need to fully participate in the digital world and take advantage of the social, economic and educational opportunities that exist today.”

 – Doug Burnett, Acting President and CEO, SaskTel 

“Technology is omnipresent and an integral part of our lives, and this significant investment will allow thousands of families and businesses to have access to an indispensable tool. The Connect to Innovate program has the power to transform the lives of thousands of Canadians and businesses, and FlexNetworks is excited to play a part in this transformation.”

– Jacques Taillefer, Executive Vice President, FlexNetworks

Quick facts

  • Of the $21.6 million being invested in Saskatchewan:

    • $12.6 million will come from the federal Connect to Innovate program; and
    • $9 million will be provided by the applicants.
  • The organizations receiving federal funding are:

    • SaskTel – $6.63 million to provide 16 rural communities and up to 129 institutions with new or increased capacity to access high-speed Internet; and
    • FlexNetworks – $5.95 million to provide 14 communities and up to 34 institutions with new or improved access to high-speed Internet services.
  • SaskTel will provide new high-speed Internet access to Admiral and bring faster service to Abbey, Brock, Cabri, Climax, Denzil, Eston, Gull Lake, Kelvington, Kipling, Kyle, Milestone, Netherhill, Richmound, Southey and Vibank. FlexNetworks will bring faster service to Balone Beach, Berard Beach, Blumenheim, Blumenthal, Crystal Springs, Domremy Beach, Greenfeld, Hagen, Gruenthal, Neuhorst, Nikorick Beach, Riversedge, Tway and Wakaw Lake.

  • 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 Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada 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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