Industry Canada

Industry Canada

October 15, 2014 10:00 ET

Harper Government Announces Next Step in Bringing High-Speed Internet to an Additional 280,000 Homes

Now accepting applications for projects in rural, remote and northern regions of the country

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 15, 2014) - Industry Canada

Canadians live in an increasingly digital world where access to high-speed Internet means access to e-commerce, high-resolution video, employment and distance education. While high-speed Internet delivered on the latest wireless technologies is an important part of everyday life in urban centres, some Canadians in rural and northern regions of the country still do not have access to high-speed Internet.

Industry Minister James Moore today announced the Harper Government's next step in bringing high-speed Internet to an additional 280,000 homes in rural and remote regions of the country. Starting today, eligible Internet service providers (ISP) can apply for funding to extend or enhance service to areas in need across the country. Connecting Canadians will provide incentives for the private sector to build and extend digital infrastructure in rural areas of the country.

Interested ISPs should review the application tool kit found on the Connecting Canadians website for help with their application. ISPs are asked to propose projects in areas where they can provide services to households that currently do not have Internet access or have slow access.

For Canadians who live in communities with slow or no Internet, access to high-speed broadband will lead to new economic opportunities and the creation of new jobs, products and services.

Quick facts

  • Connecting Canadians delivers on the Government's commitment in Economic Action Plan 2014 to bring high-speed Internet to an additional 280,000 Canadian households in rural and remote regions of the country.
  • The closing date for applications is January 12, 2015. Successful applicants could receive up to 50 percent of eligible project costs from Connecting Canadians. For projects serving very remote or Aboriginal communities, the program could fund up to 75 percent of eligible costs. For all projects, the Government of Canada will determine the amount of the contribution by assessing how much is needed to successfully complete the proposed project.
  • Successful ISPs will be expected to provide services at speeds of at least 5 megabits per second (Mbps) to Canadians in rural areas of the country that currently have slower access and 3 to 5 Mbps in the satellite-dependent communities served under the northern component of the program.
  • The first projects are expected to be announced in spring 2015.

Quote

"This call for applications marks the next important phase in our plan to bring the benefits of high-speed Internet to more than a quarter-million Canadian households, some for the first time. Providing Canadians with access to high-speed Internet for learning, business opportunities and so much more is key to a more connected, digital Canada."

- James Moore, Industry Minister

Related product

- Backgrounder: Launch of Connecting Canadians Application Process

Associated links

- Connecting Canadians website

- News Release: Connecting Canadians

- Backgrounder: Connecting Canadians

- News Release: Connecting Canadians Northern Component

- Link to application guide and tool kit

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Backgrounder

Connecting Canadians: Launch of Application Process

Launched on July 22, 2014, the Connecting Canadians program is a key component of Digital Canada 150, the Government of Canada's plan to help guide our country's digital future.

Through Connecting Canadians, the Government will invest up to $305 million to address gaps in the delivery of high-speed Internet at speeds of at least 5 megabits per second (Mbps) to households in rural and remote areas across the country. The program also includes $50 million for a dedicated northern component targeting remote, satellite-dependent communities in Nunavut and the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, which was announced by Prime Minister Harper on August 25, 2014.

On October 15, 2014, Connecting Canadians began accepting applications from eligible Internet service providers (ISP). To help applicants identify areas with slower access in which to undertake projects to extend or enhance broadband coverage, Industry Canada has published updated Internet coverage maps on the Connecting Canadians website following an extensive mapping consultation with Canadians, ISPs, and provincial and territorial governments.

Until January 12, 2015, eligible ISPs can submit proposals for projects to extend or enhance Internet service to households that do not currently have access to high-speed Internet. The Connecting Canadians website provides an application tool kit to assist interested ISPs in completing the application process.

After the January 12, 2015, deadline for applications, projects will undergo a two-stage review process. The first stage will screen projects for eligibility, with successful projects proceeding to a more detailed assessment stage. Projects selected will best meet the objectives of the program. The Application Form, which is part of the tool kit, is designed to collect the information needed to evaluate projects against both the screening and assessment criteria. Detailed application requirements can be found in the Application Guidelines.

Conditionally approved projects will likely be announced in spring 2015. Following a final due diligence phase, contribution agreements with ISPs will be negotiated.

Projects may begin once agreements are signed, which could be as early as summer 2015. If required, a second call for applications may follow in winter 2015. Completion of projects on a timely basis is encouraged. All projects under the rural component of the program must be completed by March 31, 2019. For projects under the northern component, a solution must be in place by March 31, 2016, when the current satellite leases expire.

For more information on the program, please visit the Connecting Canadians website.

Contact Information

  • Jake Enwright
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Minister of Industry
    613-995-9001

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    613-943-2502
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca