$50M to provide high-speed Internet access to almost 7,000 households in the Centre-du-Québec region by September 2022

News release

May 7, 2021 – Québec, Quebec

Thanks to a total  investment of $50.1 million made as part of Canada–Quebec Operation High Speed, 6 930 households in the Centre-du-Québec region will have access to high-speed Internet services by September 2022.

The announcement was made today by Joël Lightbound, Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness; André Lamontagne, Quebec’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Minister Responsible for the Centre-du-Québec Region; Gilles Bélanger, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier (high-speed Internet); Éric Lefebvre, Member of the National Assembly for Arthabaska and Chief Government Whip; Sébastien Schneeberger, Member of the National Assembly for Drummond–Bois-Francs; Donald Martel, Member of the National Assembly for Nicolet–Bécancour and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier of Quebec (St. Lawrence Project and innovation zones); Richard Biron, Vice-President, Corporate Development at Sogetel; and Johanne Hinse, General Manager for Quebec and Vice-President of Programming and Community Relations at Cogeco.

For the deployment of high-speed Internet services in the Centre-du-Québec region, Sogetel will receive $24,2 million to provide coverage to 4 330 households. The total value of the project is $ 33 million.. Cogeco will receive $14.4 million to connect 2,600 households, for a project with a total value of $ 17.1 million. The investments announced will accelerate the deployment of reliable, high-performance infrastructure in the targeted cities, municipalities and parishes listed in the annex. Over the next few months, Sogetel and Cogeco will take an inventory of the target areas to ensure that no household will be left without service.

Today, high-speed Internet services are considered essential in a modern society like Quebec’s. Access to high-performance, reliable and affordable Internet services is at the core of communities’ socio-economic development. The projects funded under Canada–Quebec Operation High Speed are a key part of the digital shift in Quebec and will promote access to telemedicine, distance learning, entertainment, online shopping and telework.

Quotes

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that connecting all Quebecers to high-speed Internet has never been more important. That’s why our government is investing to connect Centre-du-Québec households and businesses by fall 2022. With this historic announcement, and thanks to our good collaboration with the Government of Quebec, we’re increasing the potential for economic growth and helping improve the quality of life of Quebecers in rural communities.”
- Joël Lightbound, Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“Our government is committed to connecting all households in Quebec to high-speed Internet services by September 2022, and we are pleased to announce the fulfillment of our commitment in Center-du-Quebec. All Centric residents will be able to benefit from the advantages of this digital shift on a daily basis. The development of our region necessarily requires access to high speed Internet. Farm buildings will also benefit from this infrastructure, which is excellent news for our producers.'
- André Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Minister Responsible for the Centre-du-Québec Region

“It is with great pleasure that I join my colleagues in participating in this important announcement for Center-du-Québec. Thanks to the partnership agreement with Sogetel and Cogeco, it will be possible to deploy infrastructures that will guarantee access to high-speed Internet services. We are investing heavily to allow Quebec to be the leader in connectivity.”
- Gilles Bélanger, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier (high-speed Internet)

“What a wonderful announcement for the Arthabaska and L’Érable RCMs, as well as for all of Center-du-Québec! Connecting the entire region to efficient, reliable and affordable high-speed Internet service has been a project that has been close to my heart for several years. The current health crisis has clearly and precisely demonstrated that this access is a determining factor. This is an ambitious project, but to do this, everyone has a role to play I would like to thank my colleague Gilles Bélanger, the parliamentary assistant to the Prime Minister for the high speed Internet component, as well as all the partners who make it possible to realize this vast project beneficial for the whole of the population.”
- Éric Lefebvre, Member of the National Assembly for Arthabaska and Chief Government Whip

“This is a great moment for our region. Lifestyles and the digital offer have greatly evolved in recent years. Access to the Internet for telecommuting, distance learning and entertainment has become an essential service today. Our government has kept its word and is delivering on its commitment to improving the lives of its citizens. From now on, our families, our self-employed workers, our organizations and our businesses will be equipped with efficient telecommunications infrastructures.”
- Sébastien Schneeberger, Member of the National Assembly for Drummond–Bois-Francs

“In a rural area like ours, it is crucial that Internet services are accessible to everyone. That’s why we wanted to make sure we didn’t forget anyone. In addition, as the service will be deployed to all residences, farm buildings will also be able to benefit from it. The Internet service providers selected are clearly involved and have the obligation to cover all households located in the territory targeted by their project, by September 2022. My fellow citizens will have full access to a service today deemed essential.”
- Donald Martel, Member of the National Assembly for Nicolet–Bécancour and Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier (St. Lawrence Project and innovation zones)

“The Sogetel group has been established in the RCMs of Arthabaska, L’Érable and Nicolet-Yamaska ​​for many years. Today's announcement is the culmination of a good collaboration between Sogetel and these MRCs so that all residents can have access to high speed Internet. We are happy to contribute to regional economic development by offering the population an essential service, especially during this pandemic period.”
- Richard Biron; Vice-President, Corporate Development, Sogetel

 “I am very proud to say that we are actively contributing every day to bridging the digital divide between large urban centres and remote areas by working closely with the different levels of government. Today, providing service to the homes and businesses of the Centre-du-Québec region is another step toward digital inclusion for all.”
- Johanne Hinse, General Manager for Quebec and Vice-President of Programming and Community Relations, Cogeco

Quick facts

  • Operation High Speed is a joint initiative of the governments of Canada and Quebec to connect 150,000 households, particularly through unprecedented agreements with six of the biggest telecommunications companies.

  • The Government of Canada has allocated billions of dollars to Internet infrastructure in rural and remote regions, including $2.75 billion as part of the Universal Broadband Fund, of which $1 billion comes from Budget 2021.

Contacts

Marie-Pier Baril
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
613-295-8123
Marie-Pier.Baril@cfc-swc.gc.ca

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

Alexandra Roy
Political Attaché
Office of the Premier
819-212-0459 (cell)

Antoine Tousignant
Media Relations Lead
Ministère du Conseil exécutif
418-999-3029

Lyne Vallières
Communications Coordinator
Sogetel
819-293-1262
lyne.vallieres@sogetel.com

Anastasia Unterner
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Cogeco Connexion
514-241-7262
anastasia.unterner@cogeco.com

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