Government of Canada invests over $196,000 to bring high-speed Internet to 339 more homes in Newfoundland and Labrador

News release

Residents of the Northern Peninsula region to benefit from increased connectivity

May 28, 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 Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) Rapid Response Stream, 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 and Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, announced over $196,000 in federal funding to bring high-speed Internet to rural residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, with Aldera Communications Inc. investing an additional $81,700. This project will connect 339 underserved households in the Northern Peninsula communities of River of Ponds and Hawke’s Bay to high-speed Internet.

The Universal Broadband Fund was launched in November 2020. The project being announced today was approved within six months of the formal launch of the now $2.75-billion program. 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.

Today’s announcement builds on the progress the Government of Canada has already made to improve critical infrastructure in Newfoundland and Labrador. Since 2015, the federal government has invested more than $428 million in over 662 infrastructure projects in Newfoundland and Labrador communities. These investments mean 612 km of new or upgraded roads that are making our communities safer; more than 97 projects to provide residents with cleaner, more sustainable sources of drinking water; and more than 28 additional housing units built in rural communities, helping ensure all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have a safe place to call home.

Quotes

“Today's investment of more than $196,000 through the Universal Broadband Fund will connect 339 homes in the communities of River of Ponds and Hawke’s Bay here on the Northern Peninsula to the high-speed Internet they need. This is a perfect example of what the UBF Rapid Response Stream is all about—helping ready-to-go projects receive faster approval so construction can start and more communities can be connected. I am looking forward to future collaborations with municipalities, Indigenous communities, organizations and local service providers to ensure that communities across Newfoundland and Labrador have access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet. Thank you to Aldera Communications for your partnership on this project, and congratulations to everyone involved.”
- Gudie Hutchings, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for Long Range Mountains

“Today’s announcement is a great step forward for rural broadband in Newfoundland and Labrador. Aldera Communications is proud to work with the Government of Canada and municipalities to quickly deploy fast, reliable Internet services. We’re focused on delivering local solutions to solve the unique broadband challenges in our rural communities. Projects like these will help support greater participation in the digital economy and better access to services during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- Devin Pittman, President, Aldera Communications Inc.

Quick facts

  • On April 16, 2021, Ms. Hutchings, on behalf of Minister Monsef, announced over $481,000 in federal funding for Aldera Communications to bring high-speed Internet to rural residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, namely in the communities of Glenburnie, Birchy Head, Shoal Brook, Woody Point, St. Paul’s, Cow Head, Three Mile Rock, Parson’s Pond, Portland Creek, Daniel’s Harbour and Bellburns.

  • 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 $2.75-billion investment designed to help connect all Canadians to high-speed Internet. Applications to the UBF were accepted until March 15, 2021, and are now being evaluated.

  • 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

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

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