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Archived - Connecting Canadians
For many Canadians living in rural and remote parts of the country, having access to high speed Internet brings with it new opportunities for entrepreneurship as well as access to new services. In a digitally connected world, ensuring that Canadians in rural and remote communities can connect and take full advantage of the digital economy is an important priority for the Government of Canada.
Between 2009 and 2012, the Government of Canada's Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians program supported the delivery of broadband Internet to 218,000 previously unserved households. Today, as technology evolves and the scope and scale of the digital economy continues to expand to new markets and inspire new innovations, the Government is taking action to build on the success of the Broadband Canada program.
Through Connecting Canadians—a key component of the Digital Canada 150 strategy—the Government will invest up to $305 million between now and 2017 to identify and address the gaps in the delivery of high-speed Internet at 5 megabits per second (Mbps) to rural and remote communities across Canada and speeds of 3 to 5 Mbps in the remote, satellite-dependent communities of Nunavut and Nunavik in Canada's North.
Through Connecting Canadians, the Government will work with provincial and territorial governments and Internet service providers to extend high-speed Internet services to a targeted 280,000 households. This will be done by providing incentives for the private sector to invest in wireless and wireline Internet services in areas of the country that previously did not have access to high-speed Internet services. A call for applications will be held in fall 2014.
Internet speeds of 5 Mbps or faster enable reliable access to new technologies and services such as videoconferencing, cloud computing and social media.
Extending this level of service to more rural and remote Canadian communities will enable access to digital government services, university classes and medical consultations and will open up opportunities for Canadian entrepreneurs looking to start online businesses without leaving their home communities.
Connecting Canadians recognizes the special challenges faced in Canada's North, which relies primarily on satellite Internet, and includes targeted support to help these communities preserve and expand their broadband access.
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