Residents of rural regions in Quebec will benefit from faster Internet

News release

Government of Canada investment will help Canadians in rural and remote areas access high-speed Internet

August 3, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canadians know that access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet access is no longer a luxury; it is essential for everyone, including those living in rural and remote communities.                          

The current crisis has highlighted how much we all rely on high-speed Internet, and this need is sure to be even greater in the future. Now more than ever, Canadians need reliable, affordable high-speed Internet so they can work and learn from home and communicate with loved ones.

That is why the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Quebec Lieutenant, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, today announced $1.94 million in funding, through the Connect to Innovate program, for five new projects to connect rural communities in Quebec.

These projects will result in increased connectivity for households in rural and remote regions. Funding will be distributed as follows:

  • $1,019,925 allocated to Bell Canada for three-projects using fibre optic technology to provide high-speed Internet in the communities of Saint-Pie-de-Guire, located northwest of Drummondville; Lac-à-la Truite, located southeast of Thetford Mines; and Saint-Séverin and Saint-Frédéric, located northeast of Thetford Mines; and
  • $927,938 allocated to Groupe Maskatel LP for two projects using fibre optic technology to provide high-speed Internet in the community of Saint-Lucien, located east of Drummondville, and Lac Bolduc, located southeast of Thetford Mines.

High-Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy is the Government of Canada’s plan to ensure that 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.

Thanks to the Connect to Innovate program, residents will be able to connect with loved ones, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital economy. These projects will help expand the interaction Canadians have within and outside their communities and provide opportunities for success.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that every single household and business has access to high-speed Internet. By investing in eight new projects through the Connect to Innovate program, we are continuing to bridge the digital divide so Canadians in Quebec’s rural regions can equally benefit from all the advantages the digital world has to offer.”
– The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Quebec Lieutenant

“Broadband Internet service is key to the success of residents in rural Canadian communities. With the current COVID-19 crisis, we know, now more than ever, how important it is to be able to access the digital world. Through the Connect to Innovate program, we are continuing to open doors so Canadians can benefit from being connected with their loved ones and better equipped to fulfill everyday tasks. By funding projects that aim to provide better broadband connections, we are increasing the potential for economic growth and helping improve the quality of life of Canadians living in rural and remote communities.”
– The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has made billions in funding available, through several programs, to support the building of Internet infrastructure in rural and remote communities.

  • In Budget 2019, the Government announced $1.7 billion to support high-speed Internet, including $1 billion for the new Universal Broadband Fund, $600 million in support for low-Earth orbit satellites that can help connect Canada’s most remote communities and $85 million to top up the ongoing Connect to Innovate program.

  • Through Connect to Innovate, over 50 rural and remote communities across Canada are already benefiting from completed projects that have the potential to bring improved Internet speeds to over 25,000 households.

  • Currently, there are broadband projects in progress—that is, in the construction phase—to improve connectivity for 150 communities, which have the potential to reach 50,000 households by the end of 2020. Over 750 communities and potentially 250,000 households are on track to benefit from access to improved Internet speeds as a result of Connect to Innovate projects to be completed by the end of 2021.

Associated links

Contacts

Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
marie-pier.baril@cfc-swc.gc.ca

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

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