Over $39 million will improve high-speed coverage, allowing residents to get online faster
ST. JOHN'S, Jan. 2, 2018 /CNW/ - More than 1,500 households in 70 rural and remote communities in Newfoundland and Labrador will be able to do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age thanks to a joint federal-provincial investment of $28.45 million in high-speed Internet.
The funding was announced by the Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and by the Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Of the $39.97 million invested in Newfoundland and Labrador:
- $ 26.88 million will come from the federal government;
- $1.57 million will come from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador; and
- $11.52 million will come from other contributors.
A large portion of federal funding is being allocated through Connect to Innovate, a federal program that aims to provide underserved communities with Internet access at speeds of five megabits per second or more. This program will contribute $24.78 million in funding, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency will provide an additional $2.1 million.
The Connect to Innovate program is enabling Canadians in every region of the country to participate fully in the digital economy, seize new business opportunities, and connect with friends and family around the world.
Connect to Innovate is part of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class.
"Access to high-speed Internet is not a luxury; it's essential. High-speed Internet service is a basic tool that all Canadians should have access to, regardless of their postal code. Canadians need this service to do business, upgrade their education and build stronger communities. Thanks to our Connect to Innovate program, more Canadians will be able to participate fully in the digital economy."
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
"This funding announcement is excellent news for Newfoundland and Labrador. Ensuring schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses have access to high-speed Internet service is essential. With these investments, we are equipping Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with the tools they need to reach each other and to reach out to the world."
– The Honourable Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
"This investment will help make a significant difference in enhancing productivity and competitiveness in many rural and remote communities across our province. Improved access to high-speed Internet allows hard-working Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to become more engaged in the digital economy, seize new business opportunities, and connect with friends and family around the world. Working with our federal partners in initiatives such as this allows us to develop and nurture opportunities and enhance the prosperity of our entire province."
– The Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
- The $500 million invested under the Government's Connect to Innovate program will go toward building the digital backbone of high-speed Internet networks. Backbone networks are the digital highways that move data in and out of communities. These highways carry large amounts of data that are essential for schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to function in a digital world.
- Connect to Innovate will also fund last-mile connections to households that don't have Internet speeds of at least five megabits per second.
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SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
For further information: Karl W. Sasseville, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, 343-291-2500; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 343-291-1777, firstname.lastname@example.org