News Release Article from  Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Faster, more reliable Internet coming to rural communities across Canada

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

April 8, 2016 – Ottawa – 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

Follow the Minister on Twitter: @MinisterISED

Contacts

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


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