Universal Broadband Fund­–supported­ project will bring high-speed Internet to rural New Brunswick

News release

Residents on Grand Manan Island to benefit from increased connectivity

March 19, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how much we rely on our connections. Now more than ever, Canadians across the country need access to reliable high-speed Internet as many of us are working, learning, and staying in touch with friends and family from home. Right now, too many Canadians living in rural and remote communities lack access to high-speed Internet. Through the Rapid Response Stream of the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), the Government of Canada is taking immediate action to get Canadians connected to the high-speed Internet they need.

Today, Gudie Hutchings, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced over $686,000 in total funding to bring high-speed Internet to residents on Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick. With an additional investment of nearly $85,000 from Proximity Fiber, this project will connect 346 underserved households to high‑speed Internet.

The $1.75-billion Universal Broadband Fund was launched on November 9, 2020. Projects funded under the UBF, as well as through other public and private investments, will help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.

To facilitate applications for projects like this one, the UBF provided additional pathfinder support for all applicants, and particularly small applicants, to build partnerships, find potential sources of funding and navigate the application process.

Today’s announcement builds on the progress the Government of Canada has already made to connect New Brunswickers living in rural and remote communities. Since 2015, the federal government has committed over $41 million to broadband projects that will help connect more than 85,000 homes and businesses to the high-speed Internet they need.


“High-speed Internet service is essential to the success of everyone living and working in rural New Brunswick. Today’s investment will bring reliable, high-speed Internet access to 346 households on Grand Manan Island. This will help create jobs, improve access to health care and online learning services, and keep people connected to their loved ones. Our government will continue to work with all partners, including municipalities, Indigenous communities, local organizations and service providers, to connect New Brunswickers to the high-speed Internet they need. Congratulations to Grand Manan Island and Proximity Fiber on today’s important achievement!”
- Gudie Hutchings, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

“Crave Technologies Ltd, doing business as Proximity Fiber, is committed to providing world-class Internet services to our community of Grand Manan. Since 2018, through private funding, Crave Technologies Ltd has invested in our community, delivering fibre connectivity to 600 homes and bringing them into the 21st century digital world. The Universal Broadband Fund Rapid Response Stream funding will allow us to expand our existing fibre network to cover an additional 346 homes. We are full of excitement to be able to share what we have built with more of our Grand Manan community.”
- Rebecca Small, Chief Financial Officer, Crave Technologies Ltd.

Quick facts

  • Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.

  • The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is a $1.75-billion investment designed to help connect all Canadians to high-speed Internet. Applications to the UBF were accepted until 3:00 p.m. (ET) on March 15, 2021.

  • The UBF is part of a suite of federal investments to improve high-speed Internet. The suite includes the Connect to Innovate program, which is expected to connect nearly 400,000 households by 2023, and the recently announced $2-billion broadband initiative from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Associated links


Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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