Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada announced on Thursday it plans to invest nearly $6.6 million to fund 10 projects to expand high-speed internet to over 2,500 homes in Saskatchewan.
Funding comes from the Universal Broadband Fund’s (UBF) Rapid Response Stream and will result in the following projects being started:
- $2.4 million for FlexNetworks for a project benefiting the communities of Neuhorst, Bradwell, Shields, Thode and Neuanlage as well as rural areas near the village of Clavet
- $1.29 million for Prairie Crocus Rural Internet for a project benefiting the communities of Water Park Estates, Eagle Ridge Country Estates, Aberdeen and Shields
- $528,909 for Access Communications Cooperative Limited for a project benefitting the communities of Macklin and Shaunavon
- $458,271 for Muscowpetung Saulteaux Nation
- $1.9 million for Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation
The federal government plans to have high-speed internet available to 98% of Canadians by 2026, with download speeds of at least 50 Mbps download and 10 Mbps upload.
“This investment will bring reliable high-speed Internet access to over 2,500 households in rural Saskatchewan, helping create jobs, improving access to health care and online learning services, and keeping people connected. Since 2015, the Government of Canada has committed $7.2 billion to connect rural Canadians to better, faster Internet. We will continue making investments like these in rural and remote communities to help connect every single Canadian to high-speed Internet,” said Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, in a statement to iPhone in Canada.
At the price of $6.6 million for 2,500 homes, that works out to $2,640 per household to hook up high-speed internet in rural areas. SpaceX Starlink offers satellites internet at $129 CAD per month after a one-time $649 CAD for the satellite dish and router hardware, with the service already available to many rural Canadians.