Governments of Canada and Alberta invest up to $70.6 million to bring high-speed Internet to more than 10,400 households in Alberta

·4 min read

Residents of rural communities to benefit from increased connectivity to high-speed Internet

OTTAWA, ON, Sept. 23, 2022 /CNW/ - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

No matter where they live, all Canadians need reliable and affordable high-speed Internet to access essential services, supports and opportunities. Through the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), the governments of Canada and Alberta are taking action to get people living in rural and remote communities connected to high-speed Internet.

Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, together with the Honourable Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta, and George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, announced up to $70.6 million in combined federal and provincial funding to bring high-speed Internet access to over 10,400 households, including more than 2,700 Indigenous households, in rural communities across Alberta.

This funding is part of an existing agreement between Alberta and Canada. On March 9, 2022, both governments announced a historic partnership to invest up to $780 million to provide all Albertans in rural, remote and Indigenous communities with access to high-speed Internet. The governments of Canada and Alberta will continue to announce projects selected under this agreement over the coming months.

Today's announcement builds on the Government of Canada's progress toward making sure that
98% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Canada for everyone. The Government of Canada is committed to addressing the diverse needs of Indigenous Peoples during the planning, design and implementation of federally funded high-speed Internet and mobile service programs.

Quotes

"We all know that Internet is no longer a luxury in this day and age—it's a necessity. We need to close the connectivity gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of Alberta has access to reliable high-speed Internet. Today's announcement about connecting over 10,400 households, including more than 2,700 Indigenous households, is great news for Albertans. Having fast, reliable Internet helps rural communities access essential services like health care and education, participate in the digital economy or simply connect with loved ones. Our government will continue to work side by side with our partners to achieve our connectivity targets and ensure every Canadian, no matter where they live, has access to high-speed Internet by 2030."

– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development

"Improving access to high-speed Internet is one of the most powerful things we can do to support rural, remote and Indigenous communities across Alberta. A reliable Internet connection unlocks access to the essential services we rely on every day, supporting everything from online learning to better home health care. Today's announcement is just the first of many to come, and it represents another step forward towards our goal of ensuring universal connectivity for all families and businesses in Alberta."
– The Honourable Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta

"Today's announcement brings hope to thousands of Albertans who live in some of our province's most underserved rural communities. We all know that many of the educational and economic opportunities of the future are found online, and this funding for better broadband will help our rural communities seize these opportunities, which will go a long way in helping them attract newcomers to sustain and grow, and allow our farmers to compete on the world stage."

– The Honourable Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development

"Today's announcement of up to $70.6 million to improve high-speed Internet connectivity will mean faster and more reliable Internet service for rural Alberta. This pandemic has shown us just how essential reliable Internet access has become. Connecting all Albertans—including Indigenous communities—to high-speed Internet is a top priority, and these projects help us achieve our goal and our commitment to ensuring rural communities are not left behind."

George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview

Quick facts

  • The Universal Broadband Fund (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 to connect.

  • 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 Alberta Broadband Strategy aims to provide every household in Alberta with access to high-speed Internet by the end of the 2026-2027 fiscal year.

  • On March 9, 2022, a Canada-Alberta broadband partnership was announced. Under this agreement, approximately 200,000 households across Alberta will be connected to broadband thanks to an investment of up to $780 million, co-funded equally by both levels of government.

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested more than $457 million in connectivity projects in Alberta.

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