$127.72 million to bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 13,300 households in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions by September 2022
June 21, 2021 – Québec, Quebec
Thanks to a total investment of $127.72 million made as part of Canada–Quebec Operation High Speed, 13,300 households in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions will have access to Vidéotron high-speed Internet services by September 2022.
The announcement was made today by the Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine; Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, Minister Responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region and the Nord-du-Québec Region, and Member of the National Assembly for Abitibi-Est; Gilles Bélanger, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier of Quebec (high-speed Internet) and Member of the National Assembly for Orford; Denis Lamothe, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (wildlife and parks), and Member of the National Assembly for Ungava; Suzanne Blais, Member of the National Assembly for Abitibi-Ouest; and Pierre Karl Péladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor.
Vidéotron will receive a combined amount of $121 million from the two levels of government to support the deployment of high-speed Internet services to 13,300 households located in the municipalities listed in the annex. The total cost of the project is $127.72 million. Over the next few weeks, Vidéotron will take an inventory of the targeted regions to confirm the exact number of households that do not currently have access to high-speed Internet and will therefore be targeted for these services.
High-speed Internet services are considered essential today in a modern society like Quebec’s. Access to high-performance, reliable and affordable Internet services is at the core of communities’ economic and social 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 retail and telework.
“This is excellent news for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions and for rural Quebec as a whole. The pandemic has shown us how essential high-speed Internet access has become for our communities, not only for bringing people together virtually but also for working, studying and doing business. Our government understands that it is urgent and vital to connect rural regions throughout Canada, including Quebec. We are proud to participate in this important project and will continue to invest and partner with the Government of Quebec to ensure each household has access to high-speed Internet.”
- The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue and Member of Parliament for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine
“High-speed Internet has clearly become an essential service, not only in ensuring the economic development of our regions but also in supporting the vitality of our communities. The last year has shown that there is a pressing need in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions, and I’m proud that our government is responding to the call. Operation High Speed will enable our regions’ technological modernization and will reduce inequalities with the major centres.”
- Pierre Dufour, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, Minister Responsible for the Abitibi-Témiscamingue Region and the Nord-du-Québec Region, and Member of the National Assembly for Abitibi-Est
“I am proud to join my colleagues in announcing this major project for the Abitibi region and for part of the Nord-du-Québec region. We have entrusted Vidéotron with the important task of deploying high-speed Internet to 13,000 households by September 2022. We are investing heavily to make Quebec a leader in connectivity.”
- Gilles Bélanger, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier of Quebec (high-speed Internet) and Member of the National Assembly for Orford
“This is great news for the Nord-du-Québec region. This investment will bring high-speed Internet access to many households and will certainly have a positive impact in the targeted areas.”
- Denis Lamothe, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks (wildlife and parks), and Member of the National Assembly for Ungava
“Today’s announcement targets 41 municipalities in Abitibi-Ouest. These services will change many lives in our area and promote its economic and social development.”
- Suzanne Blais, Member of the National Assembly for Abitibi-Ouest
“Vidéotron is proud to have been chosen to connect the households in this region to high-speed Internet. Our arrival in Abitibi households, a little over a year ago, has changed the face of telecommunications in the region, and we want to go even further. Thanks to this initiative, the entire region will finally have access to services on the same level as those in big urban centres, and at the same price.”
- Pierre Karl Péladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor
Operation High Speed will ensure connectivity for 150,000 households, notably through unprecedented agreements with six of the biggest telecommunications companies. This is made possible by an equal investment of $826.3 million from the governments of Canada and Quebec.
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.
On March 9, 2021, the Government of Quebec announced that it was increasing its budget to more than $1 billion to accelerate the connection of thousands of Quebec households to high-speed Internet.
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Annex: Canada–Quebec Operation High Speed—List of municipalities targeted by Vidéotron’s project in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions
- La Corne
- La Morandière
- La Motte
- La Reine
- La Sarre
La Vallée-de-l’Or RCM:
- Les Lacs-du-Témiscamingue
Eeyou Istchee Baie-James:
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