Alberta and Canada expand partnership to improve access to high-speed Internet for Albertans
Governments of Canada and Alberta are working to eliminate the digital divide and connect 100% of Albertans to reliable high-speed Internet
March 9, 2022 – Edmonton, Alberta
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that Canadians across the country need access to reliable high-speed Internet to work, do business, learn, and stay in touch with friends and family from home. That is why the governments of Canada and Alberta announced in December 2021 that they were providing up to $300 million in joint funding to connect rural Alberta communities to high-speed Internet.
Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, together with the Honourable Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta, announced that the Government of Canada will bring its total funding commitment for connectivity in Alberta to up to $390 million.
The initial estimated cost to eliminate Alberta’s digital divide was $1 billion. Recognizing the potential to do more, and given the effectiveness of the two levels of government working together, they have increased their combined funding commitment to $780 million from the combined $300 million previously announced.
The governments of Canada and Alberta recognize the important role access to high-speed Internet will have in the economic recovery following the pandemic. Collaborating to provide better Internet services to Albertans living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities will help create jobs and contribute to the economic growth of the entire province. As Alberta continues to rebuild from the pandemic, both governments continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient province—and nation—for everyone.
“We need to close this connection gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of Alberta has access to reliable high-speed Internet. That’s why today’s announcement to increase funding to $780 million to connect all remaining underserved households in the province is a historic milestone for Alberta. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments like these to help connect every Canadian and achieve our national target of connecting 98% of Canadians by 2026 and 100% by 2030.”
- The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
“Alberta has made a historic funding commitment of $390 million over four years to help eliminate the digital divide. I’m so excited to have the federal government joining us as partners to match that commitment, pushing the total investment to $780 million. As we work with the private sector partners that will build this infrastructure, we know they will have significant financial contributions to make. We anticipate these additional contributions will push broadband investment north of $1 billion. With this funding agreement in place, we can focus on reviewing funding applications and getting shovels in the ground this spring so we can bring immediate relief to Albertans all across the province.”
- The Honourable Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta
The governments of Canada and Alberta are increasing joint funding from $300 million to $780 million to connect households in rural, remote and Indigenous communities to high-speed Internet. Of this funding, $390 million will come from the Government of Canada through the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), and $390 million will come from the Government of Alberta.
This agreement represents a plan to connect all remaining underserved households in Alberta, which is approximately 200,000 households.
Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download and 10 Mbps upload.
The UBF is a $2.75 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help connect
98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of
100% connectivity by 2030. Only the hardest to reach households may take until 2030.
Since 2015, the Government of Canada has announced more than $213 million in funding for 52 projects to bring improved speeds to more than 37,000 underserved households in Alberta.
The UBF is part of a suite of federal investments to improve high-speed Internet. Find out more on the High-speed Internet for all of Canada page.
Alberta’s Broadband Strategy is a roadmap to connect every Alberta home and business to high‑speed Internet by the end of the 2026–27 fiscal year. In addition to supporting economic recovery and diversification to create jobs for Albertans, the strategy seeks to connect businesses with the global marketplace and provide access to education, upgrading and re-skilling resources.
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Office of the Minister of Service Alberta
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