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Archived - More than 65,000 homes in Quebec to benefit from better broadband connections

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Government of Canada announces investment of up to $53.9 million to expand and improve Internet services

July 30, 2015 – Québec, Quebec – Industry Canada

Everyday tasks that were once done in person, such as shopping, communicating, learning and banking, are now done online. To help Canadian communities, businesses and families have better access to these and many other online opportunities, the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, together with Pierre Arcand, Quebec Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister responsible for the Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord region, today announced that the Government of Canada will provide 13 companies and organizations with up to $53.9 million to connect more than 65,000 homes throughout Quebec to faster Internet services.

The Ministers highlighted the fact that more than 65,000 households across the province will benefit from today's announcement. These broadband infrastructure projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2017, with some completed as soon as the end of 2015, delivering Internet download speeds of up to 15 megabits per second (Mbps), three times as fast as the national target speed of 5 Mbps.

The projects include up to $15 million to extend and enhance satellite Internet service for approximately 3,300 households in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec. Canadians in this region depend on satellite services for their high-speed Internet connections, and projects under the northern component of the Connecting Canadians program have a target speed of 3 Mbps. The investment under Connecting Canadians will ensure high-speed Internet remains available in these regions after leases for these services expire in 2016, while also greatly improving Internet speed for area residents.

For all Canadians, the Internet is a tool that spurs economic growth, broadens opportunities, and connects friends and family from coast to coast to coast. For Canadians who live in communities with slow or no Internet, access to high-speed services will lead to new economic opportunities and the creation of new jobs, products and services.

By Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, over 98 percent of Canadian households will be able to subscribe to new or improved high-speed Internet services, which helps deliver on the Government's commitment to rural Canadians.

Quick facts

  • Households in hundreds of communities and surrounding areas across Quebec will be connected under today's announcement, including but not limited to:
    • Baie-Comeau, Baie-James, Baie-Saint-Paul, Bois-Franc, La Pêche, La Rédemption, L'Ange-Gardien, Matane, Mont-Laurier, Montmagny, Mont-Tremblant, Rimouski, Rivière-du-Loup, Rouyn-Noranda, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Shawinigan, Trois-Rivières, Val-des-Monts and Val-d'Or.
  • In the Nunavik region of northern Quebec, the households to be connected are in the following communities and surrounding areas:
    • Akulivik, Aupaluk, Inukjuak, Ivujivik, Kangiqsualujjuaq, Kangiqsujuaq, Kangirsuk, Kuujjuaq, Kuujjuarapik (including Whapmagoostui), Quaqtaq, Puvirnituq, Salluit, Tasiujaq and Umiujaq.
  • Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada created the Connecting Canadians program, backed by a $305-million commitment to connect an additional 280,000 households to high-speed Internet services at minimum speeds of 5 Mbps under the rural component and 3 Mbps under the northern component.
  • The Government has exceeded its Economic Action Plan 2014 target by over 75,000 households in the first round of project approvals, bringing high-speed Internet access to more than 356,000 homes across Canada, and nearly 40 percent under budget.
  • Last summer, the Government invited Canadians to provide feedback online to help better determine areas in need of high-speed Internet access. Once information was received, Industry Canada invited Internet service providers to submit proposals for funding under the Connecting Canadians program to build the wireless or wired infrastructure that will provide services to rural and remote communities in need.
  • Every province and territory across the country will benefit from the Connecting Canadians program. Announcements of individual projects will be made throughout the summer.

Quotes

"As federal minister responsible for economic development in Quebec, I am pleased to announce this major advance in Internet connectivity in our province. For the Quebecers living in Nunavik and other rural and remote regions, this represents an important step forward in our participation in the digital economy and in connecting with our friends, families, Canadians and the world."
– Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec

"For a decade already, the Kativik Regional Government has been committed to providing reliable Internet service to Nunavik communities through Tamaani Internet. The contributions of Canada and Quebec announced today, combined with the Kativik Regional Government's contribution, will ensure the continuation of this service until 2021 while work continues to identify solutions to the limitations posed by current satellite technology for our communities."
 – Mary A. Pilurtuut, Vice-Chairperson, Kativik Regional Government

"We thank the Government of Canada for having recognized the fundamental importance of high-speed Internet to Canadians in rural areas. This project will contribute in no small measure to reaching one of our company's goals: bridging the gap between rural and urban Internet users' experience. The new service will be a big plus for our clients, for whom access to affordable high-speed Internet is essential. What's more, this project is yet another reason why it's great to live in the rural regions of Haut-Richelieu."

– Patrick Bonvouloir, Founding President, Développement Innovations Haut-Richelieu

"Réseau Internet Maskoutain wishes to thank the Government of Canada for recognizing the fundamental importance of high-speed Internet access for rural Canadians. This project will greatly contribute to the achievement of one of our goals: closing the gap between the experience of Internet users in rural areas and that of users in urban areas. The new service will be a major asset for our customers, given that access to affordable high-speed Internet is essential to them, and will also make life in the MRC des Maskoutains even better, ."

– Yves de Bellefeuille, President, MRC des Maskoutains

"Together, we will invest $37.4 million to connect more than 10,000 rural Quebec households directly to TELUS' fibre optic network before the end of 2017. Connecting Canadians makes it possible for us to provide more rural residents the same Internet access enjoyed by people living in urban areas, bringing with it powerful access to innovative entertainment services, education programs, remote healthcare connections, and the opportunity to actively participate in the digital economy."

– François Gratton, Executive Vice-President and President, Business Solutions East and TELUS Québec

"We wish to thank the Government of Canada for recognizing the fundamental importance of ensuring that rural Canadians have access to high-speed Internet services. This project will greatly contribute to the achievement of one of our goals: closing the gap between the experience of rural Internet users and that of urban users. The new service will be a major asset for our customers, given that access to affordable high-speed Internet has become essential for communication and entertainment purposes."

- Jules Grenier, President and CEO, Groupe Maskatel LP

"We are proud to work with the Government of Canada's 'Connecting Canadians' program. This major investment will improve the network capacity and will greatly foster the company's goal of allowing consumers in remote areas to benefit from optimized broadband Internet connectivity."

– Rèmi Bertrand, President, Réseau Picanoc.net

"We thank the Government of Canada for recognizing the fundamental importance of high-speed Internet for rural Canadians. This project will contribute significantly to achieve one of the goals of our company, to bridge the gap between the experience of Internet users in rural areas and that of urban users. Because access to affordable high-speed Internet is essential for our customers, the new service will be a major asset. In addition, this project will be one more reason why it is good to live in rural areas of Val-Des-Monts."

- Michel Lapointe, Director of Business Development, Digicom Internet

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Jake Enwright
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Industry
343-291-2500

Media Relations
Industry Canada
343-291-1777
media-relations@ic.gc.ca


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