ST. MARTINS, NB, July 25, 2019 /CNW/ - The availability of high‑speed Internet infrastructure in rural communities is critical for economic development and access to essential resources and public services. The Government of Canada and its partners are investing in broadband infrastructure that will make it easier for New Brunswickers to connect with people across the province and the world, supporting sustained economic growth for years to come.
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural and Economic Development; Alaina Lockhart, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, and Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal; Bruce Northrup, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Sussex-Fundy-St. Martins on behalf of the Honourable Andrea Anderson-Mason, Minister of Justice, Attorney General and Minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation; and Allison Lenehan, President and CEO of Xplornet Communications Inc., today announced the expansion and improvement of fixed wireless internet service in rural communities across mainland New Brunswick.
This project includes installing or enabling up to 3,000 km of fibre-optic cable, and upgrading existing infrastructure to better connect 170 fixed-wireless towers to the fibre-optic grid.
Once complete, this project will improve fixed wireless internet service to 83,000 rural households and businesses. It will also create new potential for innovation and economic development, helping business owners connect with new markets, allowing for better access to services, and providing students with the ability to broaden their studies.
The Government of Canada is investing $40 million in this project through the Rural and Northern Infrastructure Communities Stream of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. Xplornet will contribute $63 million and any outstanding project costs.
"Broadband Internet service is key for the prosperity of rural Canadian communities. This project will allow residents, businesses and visitors in New Brunswick to be better connected to friends, family, as well as have better access to online services and tools. By providing better broadband connections, we are increasing the potential for economic growth and diversification in small and rural communities, and enhancing quality of life."
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural and Economic Development
"Improved broadband coverage is essential for the success of New Brunswickers living and doing business in rural areas. It will allow families to access everyday services, students to access study resources, and first responders to provide better services. It will also allow rural businesses to innovate and compete on the national and international stage. This investment and the cooperation with our partners is life changing for rural New Brunswick."
Alaina Lockhart, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, and Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal
"At Xplornet, we focus on enabling rural Canadians to stay connected to what matters, at ever faster speeds, regardless of where they choose to live. Today's announcement is the next step in our plan to continue evolving and improving Internet service in rural New Brunswick by deploying the latest 5G-ready technology in our home Province."
Allison Lenehan, President and CEO of Xplornet Communications Inc.
- Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.
- $25.3 billion of this funding is supporting social infrastructure in Canadian communities.
- On June 27, 2019, the Government of Canada launched two new strategies: Canada's Connectivity Strategy, which commits to connect all Canadians to high-speed internet, and Canada's first Rural Economic Development Strategy, which will spur economic growth and create good, middle class jobs for rural Canadians across the country.
- The Rural Economic Development Strategy leverages ongoing federal investments and provides a vision for the future, identifying practical steps to take in the short term, and serving as a foundation to guide further work.
- Central to Canada's Connectivity Strategy are historic new investments that are mobilizing up to $6 billion toward universal connectivity. They include a top-up to the Connect to Innovate Program, a new Universal Broadband Fund, and investments from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
- These investments complement the Atlantic Growth Strategy, a federal-provincial action plan aimed at stimulating economic growth in the region through five priority areas:
- Skilled workforce/Immigration;
- Clean growth and climate change;
- Trade and investment;
Investing in Canada: Canada's Long-Term Infrastructure Plan: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/icp-publication-pic-eng.html
Rural Opportunity, National Prosperity: An Economic Development Strategy for Rural Canada:
High-Speed Access for All: Canada's Connectivity Strategy (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/139.nsf/eng/h_00002.html
Investing in Canada plan project map:
Federal infrastructure investments in New Brunswick:
Atlantic Growth Strategy: http://www.acoa-apeca.gc.ca/ags-sca/Eng/atlantic-growth.html
SOURCE Infrastructure Canada
For further information: Emilie Simard, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development, 613-996-4649, [email protected]; Bruce Macfarlane, Communications, Regional Development Corporation, 506-444-4583, [email protected]; James Maunder, VP, Public Affairs and Communications, Xplornet Communications Inc., 613-266-2250, [email protected]; Media Relations, Infrastructure Canada, 613-960-9251, Toll free: 1-877-250-7154, Email: [email protected]