Back in December, the governments of Canada and Alberta had announced that they were working to eliminate the digital divide and will be providing up to $300 million in joint funding to connect rural Alberta communities to high-speed Internet.
The initial estimated cost to eliminate Alberta’s digital divide was $1 billion. Recognizing the potential to do more, the two governments have increased their combined funding commitment to $780 million from the combined $300 million previously announced.
Of this funding, $390 million will come from the Government of Canada through the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), and $390 million will come from the Government of Alberta. This agreement represents a plan to connect all remaining underserved households in Alberta, which is approximately 200,000 households.
“We need to close this connection gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of Alberta has access to reliable high-speed Internet. That’s why today’s announcement to increase funding to $780 million to connect all remaining underserved households in the province is a historic milestone for Alberta.” – The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development
The UBF is a $2.75 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help connect 98% of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% connectivity by 2030.