Ottawa to Spend $1.3 Billion for Rural High-Speed Internet Expansion

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada has announced this week nearly $1.3 billion in spending to expand high-speed internet to rural areas across Canada.

In total, there was $1,293,300,000 in announcements made this week to bring high-speed internet to at least 299,390 homes (it works out to $4,319 per home). Check out the announcements below:

August 6

  • Eastern Ontario: $362 million to bring high-speed Internet to 90,124 rural households
  • Northwestern Ontario: over $148 million to bring high-speed Internet to over 11,200 rural households
  • Central Ontario: up to $230 million to bring high-speed Internet to as many as 52,866 rural households
  • Northeastern Ontario: up to over $170 million to bring high-speed Internet to over 39,000 rural households

August 5

  • Golden Horseshoe, Ontario: up to over $73 million to bring high-speed Internet to almost 26,000 rural households
  • Cariboo regional district + Indigenous communities of the Thompson-Nicola regional district in B.C.: over $17.3 million in funding for 4 projects that will bring high-speed Internet to over 2,000 households (funding from the Universal Broadband Fund’s (UBF) Rapid Response Stream, and the Connecting British Columbia program, Canada and the B.C. governments)
  • Southwestern Ontario: $252 million to bring high-speed Internet to 60,000 rural households

August 4

  • Manitoba: over $41 million in federal funding through the CTI program and Rapid Response Stream (RRS) of the UBF for 11 projects to bring high-speed Internet to 93 communities; 18,200 households

The Ontario announcements are part of a federal and provincial agreement to bring high-speed to “all corners of the province” by 2025. The other agreements come from the Universal Broadband Fund and matching provincial initiatives.

According to ISED, there are over 890,000 rural and remote households set to be “connected to high-speed Internet as a result of federal investments.” The federal government says 175,000 remote households were connected to high-speed internet as of the end of March 2021, as backed by federal funding.

By the end of 2021, the federal government says over 435,000 households will be connected online thanks to its funding.

A recent study from Ookla revealed Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink satellite internet speeds in Canada were exceeding median download speeds for fixed broadband. SpaceX Starlink costs $649 CAD to purchase hardware (router and satellite dish), then a $129 CAD per month fee, which offers download speeds over 200 Mbps.

You can click here to sign up for Starlink if you don’t want to wait for the federal government to roll out internet in your area.