Feds announce $1.75 billion for high-speed Internet investment

WEST CARLETON – The Canadian government announced an investment of $1.75 billion to connect Canadians to high-speed Internet with a goal of providing the service to 98 per cent of Canadians by 2026.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced an investment of $1.75 billion to help connect Canadians to high-speed Internet across the country, grow businesses, and create jobs. This investment will connect 98 per cent of Canadians across the country to high-speed Internet by 2026, with the goal of connecting all Canadians by 2030.

“Connectivity has never been more important, and we are taking a major step towards ensuring every Canadian has access to reliable high-speed Internet, no matter where they live,” Kanata-Carleton MP Karen McCrimmon released in a statement yesterday. “Connectivity will drive our economic recovery in a post-pandemic world and ensure everyone has opportunities to participate and succeed. Nov. 9”

Announced originally in the 2019 budget as $1 billion, yesterday’s additional funding of $750 million for the Universal Broadband Fund will help advance projects with partners, like the Canada Infrastructure Bank, to connect Canadian households and businesses in underserved communities over the next six years. This includes a $150 million Rapid Response Stream with an accelerated application process to allow shovel-ready projects to get started right away. With the announcement, the government has made $6.2 billion available for universal broadband since 2015.

“Now more than ever, Canadians need reliable access to high-speed Internet as we work, learn, and communicate with our family and friends from home,” Trudeau released in a statement yesterday. “With today’s announcement, we are continuing to bring faster Internet access to every part of our country, helping businesses grow, creating new jobs, and building a better Canada for everyone.”

The prime minister also announced an agreement of $600 million with Canadian satellite company Telesat to improve connectivity and expand high-speed Internet coverage to the far north, rural, and remote regions across Canada, through low-earth-orbit satellite capacity.

“Yesterday’s announcement is the largest one-time federal investment in broadband and will make a real difference in the lives of Canadians and businesses across the country,” the federal government released in a statement. “It will support Canadians living in rural, remote, and northern communities and move forward the Government’s commitment to create over one million jobs. As we work to rebuild from the pandemic, the Government of Canada will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Canada for everyone.”