Monday, 14 September 2015

Incoming Rural Internet Investments to help Connect Canadians

Election campaigns are ramping up across the country and there is a flurry of announcements from the Federal government relating to connecting Canadians.

Canada's 150th celebration is approaching in a few years and in preparation, Canada has launched its' Digital Canada 150 strategy. First announced back in 2011, this strategy is aimed at preparing Canada for the digital future, making sure Canadians remain competitive in the global market. This announcement included a statement saying 98% of Canadians will be connected with a minimum target speed of 5mbps. Accompanying that is $305M provided to invest in rural high-speed internet services.

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As part of the current federal election campaigns, PM Harper announced in Lancaster, Ontario that the conservatives would provide an additional $200M mainly for fibre service to further improve rural broadband. As part of the announcement, Harper indicated the Digital Canada 150 internet initiatives are on track and are on budget and are already surpassing the set goals.

Following this, Trudeau announced that the Liberal would double infrastructure spending to the tune of $125B over the next 10 years to jump start the economy. Portions of these funds would be allocated for communications infrastructure, bringing better internet service to unserviced and under-served Canadians.

Regardless of which party prevails in the October election, Canadians' rights to having access  to high-speed internet service are being addressed. There is an understanding among all parties that ubiquitous high-speed internet access in essential to the growth of the Canadian economy.

This is great news for Ontarians should this funding happen. Earlier this year, the Ontario Liberals announced in their Moving Ontario Forward plan that some of the $11.5B allocated for infrastructure will be designated for ultra high-speed broadband (See previous post here).

Adding up the potential incoming investments in broadband infrastructure, it's clear that positive change and meaningful expansions are coming for rural areas with this unprecedented funding.

Video: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/028.nsf/eng/home


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