Canadians in northern Alberta to benefit from faster Internet
Residents to get new or faster Internet access thanks to Government of Canada investment
September 6, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario
Canadians understand the importance of building communities. They have always invested in ways to better connect with each other—from the St. Lawrence Seaway to the national railroad system to the Trans-Canada Highway. Those investments now need to reflect the increasingly digital world.
This is why the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, today announced an investment of $4.9 million to bring new high-speed Internet access to seven communities including Zama City, the 5 Bigstone Cree First Nations communities, and Sandy Lake, in northern Alberta. In addition to the Government of Canada investment, Arrow Technologies is contributing $1.6 million.
The additional high-speed Internet projects in Alberta are possible thanks to the top-up to the Connect to Innovate program announced in Budget 2019. This investment will help residents connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age.
Connect to Innovate 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.
High-speed Internet access is essential for Canadians living in rural and remote communities to thrive in the digital economy. High-Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy is the Government’s plan to ensure that, over time, all Canadians will have access to affordable high-speed Internet, no matter where they live. It also commits to improving mobile wireless coverage where Canadians live and work, as well as along major highways and roads.
“Broadband Internet service is key for the prosperity of rural Canadian communities. This project will allow residents of these Alberta communities to be better connected to friends, family and businesses, as well as have better access to online services and tools. By providing better broadband connections, we are increasing the potential for economic growth and diversification and enhancing the quality of life in small and rural communities.”
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development
Of the $6,581,000 investment in high-speed Internet announced today:
- $4,873,000 will come from the Connect to Innovate program; and
- $1,600,000 will come from Arrow Technologies.
The Government has proposed an ambitious plan to ensure that every household in communities across Canada, no matter how rural or remote, has access to high-speed Internet and mobile wireless services.
In Budget 2019, the Government proposed historic investments of up to $6 billion for high-speed connectivity. New investments in the Connect to Innovate program are a key part of this funding.
Through Connect to Innovate, the Government is extending high-speed Internet service to over 900 rural and remote communities, of which 190 are Indigenous. Connect to Innovate projects have the potential to impact up to 380,000 households. Further investments will be announced shortly.
In partnership with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), the Government of Canada has launched a quick and easy Internet speed test. This test will provide CIRA and the Government with the data needed to expand high-speed networks to rural, remote, northern and underserved communities across Canada.
Rural Opportunity, National Prosperity: An Economic Development Strategy for Rural Canada outlines ways to maximize federal investments to improve the quality and resiliency of community infrastructure, create good jobs, support trade and investment, strengthen skills, and welcome newcomers in rural communities.
As a result of the $180-billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, Canada’s rural and northern communities are benefiting from the renewal of public infrastructure, which includes investments in roads, bridges and highways; water treatment systems; cleaner, more affordable sources of electricity; stormwater systems; and natural barriers that reduce the risk of flooding brought on by extreme weather events.
- $2 billion of this funding is supporting infrastructure projects that meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities; and
- $400 million is being delivered through the Arctic Energy Fund to deliver cleaner, more affordable electricity to residents living in Canada’s territories.
Acting Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development
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