Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada has announced it will invest over $8.5 million to bring faster internet to rural Quebec, as part of three new projects.
Part of the Connect to Innovate program, which aims to bring Canadians online for both work, learning and more, ISED says funds will be allocated as follows:
- $1,015,368 for Télébec to undertake two projects using fibre optic technology to provide high-speed Internet in the community of Belcourt, located northeast of Val-d’Or, and in the area of Launay in the Abitibi Regional County Municipality; and
- $7,500,000 for TELUS to undertake a project using fibre optic technology to provide high-speed Internet to 18 communities located northwest of Baie-Comeau.
“These projects will help expand the interaction Canadians have within and outside their communities and provide opportunities for success,” explains ISED’s press release.
Pablo Rodriguez, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Quebec Lieutenant, said in a statement, “The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring that every single household and business has access to high-speed Internet. By investing in eight new projects through the Connect to Innovate program, we are continuing to bridge the digital divide so Canadians in Quebec’s rural regions can equally benefit from all the advantages the digital world has to offer.”
The federal government’s Budget 2019 pledged $1.7 billion towards high-speed internet projects, along with $1 billion for the new Universal Broadband Fund, $600 million in support for low-Earth orbit satellites and $85 million more into the Connect to Innovate coffers.
ISED says over 25,000 households already benefit from the Connect to Innovate program seeing improved Internet speeds. Current projects to improve broadband are underway in 150 communities. By the end of 2021, the government says over 750 communities and a potential of 250,000 households are set to see improved internet speeds as a result of the program.