Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

April 08, 2016 14:05 ET

Faster, More Reliable Internet Coming to Rural Communities Across Canada

Projects will improve high-speed Internet coverage for 65,000 households

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 8, 2016) - Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

For most Canadians, access to affordable and reliable broadband networks is an important part of everyday life. However, communities outside urban centres often face challenges in accessing Internet service at levels comparable to those in cities due to factors such as remote location and challenging terrain.

Twenty-three Internet service providers across Canada are receiving approximately $34.5 million from the Government of Canada to increase broadband Internet access for over 65,000 households in rural areas across the country. This investment includes approximately $600,000 that will allow Xplornet Communications Inc. to bring improved access to over 7,000 households in the Niagara Region and the counties of Haldimand and Norfolk.

Canadians in all regions of the country need access to reliable, high-speed Internet so that they can fully participate in the digital economy. Broadband gives Canadians access to services like e-health and other government services, and it helps them stay in touch with friends and family across Canada.

The Government of British Columbia is also providing approximately $3.4 million in additional support for six of the projects in that province through the Connecting British Columbia program. As well, the Government of Ontario is providing $1.4 million in additional support for two of the projects in that province through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. Lastly, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is providing approximately $51,000 in additional support for the Burgeo project in that province.

Quotes

"Helping to extend high-speed Internet across the country is one of the most important infrastructure investments the Government of Canada can make to help unlock the tremendous potential of our country's northern and rural regions. By working with partners across the country, the Government is helping to deliver increased broadband coverage to underserved areas across Canada. This will provide Canadians with greater employment and business opportunities, better access to online education and e-health, improved communications and media, and increased access to online goods and services."

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"At Xplornet, we believe that rural Canadian families should be offered the same opportunities as families in urban areas. Therefore, we are delighted to work alongside the Government of Canada toward our shared goal of providing fast, affordable Internet to rural Canada. By accelerating the build of broadband infrastructure in areas like Niagara, families in the Niagara Region will have enhanced high-speed Internet service so they can experience everything the Internet has to offer."

- Bill Macdonald, Executive Vice-President of Business Development, Xplornet Communications Inc.

Quick facts

  • The $305 million Connecting Canadians program is extending and enhancing broadband services to over 300,000 households across Canada.
  • Additionally, through Budget 2016, the Government of Canada will invest $500 million over five years for a new program to extend and enhance broadband service in rural and remote communities.

Associated links

- Connecting Canadians website

Follow the Minister on Twitter: @MinisterISED

Backgrounder

Connecting Canadians

For most Canadians, access to affordable and reliable broadband networks is an important part of everyday life; however, communities outside urban centres often face challenges in accessing Internet service at levels comparable to those in cities due to factors such as remote location and challenging terrain.

The Government of Canada is committed to increasing high-speed broadband coverage for rural Canadians. Enhancing and extending access will create new employment opportunities for rural and northern Canadians by increasing their ability to participate in the digital economy. Improved broadband access will also provide households with the ability to use distance education and cloud computing applications, and it will help Canadians in rural and remote communities stay connected to friends and family members.

Through the Connecting Canadians program, the Government is contributing $305 million to extend and enhance broadband service to a minimum target speed of five megabits per second (Mbps) for over 300,000 Canadians households.

Budget 2016 committed $500 million over five years for a new program to extend and enhance broadband services in rural and remote communities. Investment in quality broadband networks will extend access to innovative services that improve education, health care, productivity and local quality of life. Further details on the new program will be available in the coming months.

List of Connecting Canadians projects

Province Project Applicant Name Households Targeted* Connecting Canadians Funding*
British Columbia** A.B.C. Allen Business Communications Ltd. 12,000 $2.4 million
Twin Island Communications Ltd. 150 $8,500
Village of Granisle 250 $121,000
Brooks Bay Cable Corp. 550 $125,000
Base Technology Ltd. 1,000 $492,000
Mascon Cable Systems Ltd. 950 $626,000
GwaiiTel Society 1,800 $7.6 million
Lookieloo.net Sales & Purchases Ltd. 200 $89,000
Minto Communications Society 80 $52,000
Telus Communications 6,900 $4.5 million
Alberta IWantWireless.ca 4,000 $1.2 million
Arrow Technology Group Ltd. 2,000 $2.4 million
Manitoba Norway House Cree Nation Broadband Inc. 1,000 $4.7 million
First Communications 140 $780,000
Ontario*** True 802 Wireless, Inc. 600 $93,000
Xplornet Communications Inc. 7,000 $612,000
Nexicom Ltd. 250 $107,000
Storm Internet Services 950 $160,000
Tuckersmith Communications Co-operative Ltd. 35 $19,000
TbayTel 820 $950,000
Nova Scotia Acadian Communications Ltd. 400 $46,000
Newfoundland and Labrador**** Xplornet Communications Inc. 12,500 $3.5 million
Burgeo Broadcasting System 90 $60,000
Prince Edward Island Xplornet Communications Inc. 12,000 $1.6 million
Northwest Territories Northwestel Inc. 500 $2.6 million

* Household targets represent an estimate; coverage within a community will depend on its size, local topography and other factors. The amount of funding awarded to each company represents "up to" the cited amount.

** The Government of British Columbia is providing an additional approximately $3.4 million for six of the projects listed above through the Connecting British Columbia grant program, administered province-wide by Northern Development Initiative Trust. The six co-funded projects are with ABC Communications, Village of Granisle, Brooks Bay Cable Corp, Base Technology Ltd., Lookieloo and Minto.

*** The Government of Ontario is providing an additional approximately $1.4 million for two of the projects through its Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

**** The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is providing an additional approximately $51,000 for the Burgeo project within that province.

Contact Information

  • Philip Proulx
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Innovation,
    Science and Economic Development
    343-291-2500

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