Industry Canada

Industry Canada

March 27, 2006 09:00 ET

Industry Canada: Kittiwake Economic Development Corporation to Bring Broadband Internet Service to Additional Aboriginal, Northern and Rural Communities

GANDER, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(CCNMatthews - March 27, 2006) - The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Regional Minister for Newfoundland and Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, is pleased to announce that up to $542 723 in program savings from Industry Canada's Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program is available to be invested in the Kittiwake Economic Development Corporation. This will deploy broadband, or high-capacity Internet, to communities that are not currently served by broadband.

"Broadband is an essential tool that enables communities to strengthen their collective approach to commerce, education, health and other areas," said Minister Hearn. "The Government of Canada is committed to the economic and social well-being of all communities through broadband access."

The Government of Canada recognizes that many of Canada's rural, remote and Aboriginal communities have a difficult time accessing high-capacity Internet. Funding for the Kittiwake Economic Development Corporation project became available from cost savings realized from some of the 58 previous Broadband Pilot Program project recipients. For instance, in some cases, recipients were able to secure additional funding partners, thereby reducing the amount of funding required from the Broadband Pilot Program. The Kittiwake Economic Development Corporation project represents an estimated 18 communities as defined by the applicant, as originally submitted in the project's business proposal.

The funding announced today is subject to successful negotiations among all parties through a formal contribution agreement. There is also the potential for additional projects to be considered, contingent upon available program savings.

Broadband is defined as a high-capacity Internet connection, capable of supporting full-motion, real-time audio and video applications. It serves as a pipeline for delivering innovative applications, putting services in areas such as health, education and business within easy reach of all Canadians.

To date, the Broadband Pilot Program has reached out to almost 900 communities, including 142 First Nations reserves. The Broadband Pilot Program complements the $155-million National Satellite Initiative. Broadband service to rural and remote communities will ultimately provide Aboriginal, northern and rural communities with more opportunities to move forward socially and economically.

More information on the Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program is available at http://broadband.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of Industry
    Isabelle Fontaine
    (613) 995-9001
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 943-2502