Rural communities in Quebec will benefit from faster Internet

News release

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

August 3, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canadians know that 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.

Today, 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, announced $8.5 million in funding for three projects through the Connect to Innovate program.

These projects will result in increased connectivity speeds in rural and remote communities, enabling Canadians to stay connected. Funding is being distributed as follows:

  • $1,015,368 for Télébec to undertake two projects using fibre optic technology to provide high-speed Internet in the community of Belcourt, located northeast of Val-d’Or, and in the area of Launay in the Abitibi Regional County Municipality; and
  • $7,500,000 for TELUS to undertake a project using fibre optic technology to provide high-speed Internet to 18 communities located northwest of Baie-Comeau.

High-Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy is the Government of Canada’s plan to make sure all Canadians, no matter where they live, have access to affordable high-speed Internet. 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 family and friends, 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

“Canadians understand the importance of building communities. Through the current COVID-19 crisis, we have come to recognize, 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. With this funding, we are continuing to improve rural Canadians’ access to high-speed Internet for them to thrive in the digital economy.”
– 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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