Government of Canada launches program to bring high-speed Internet to rural and remote communities

Connecting Canadians will bring high-speed Internet access to an additional 280,000 Canadian households

July 23, 2014, Simcoe, Ontario – The Honourable Diane Finley, Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk, today announced the launch of Connecting Canadians, a new Government of Canada program that will bring high-speed Internet to 280,000 Canadian households that currently do not have Internet or have slower access. Between now and 2017, the Government will invest up to $305 million to extend access to broadband Internet at 5 megabits per second (Mbps) to 98 percent of Canadian households, mainly in rural and remote communities across Canada.

In the weeks ahead, Canadians and Internet service providers (ISP) are invited to visit the new Connecting Canadians website (www.ic.gc.ca/ConnectingCanadians) to offer their input on communities that could be eligible to receive funding. 

For all Canadians, especially those living in rural and remote areas, having access to high-speed Internet helps create new jobs as well as new innovative products and businesses. As more and more Canadians work and engage online, ensuring those in rural and remote areas have high-speed Internet access will enable them to fully take advantage of the digital economy.

Quick facts

  • Connecting Canadians delivers on the Harper Government’s commitment in Economic Action Plan 2014 to bring high-speed Internet to an additional 280,000 Canadian households in rural and remote regions of the country.
  • The maps on the Connecting Canadians website were developed to obtain feedback from Canadians, ISPs, and provincial and territorial governments across the country to identify those communities that are most in need of investment for greater access to high-speed Internet.
  • Information about communities considered in need and eligible for funding will be made public this fall, followed by a call for applications from ISPs.
  • Companies interested in participating in Connecting Canadians will be invited to submit applications for projects this fall. The first projects are expected to be announced in spring 2015.

Quotes

“As we move toward Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, our government is proud to launch a new program that will connect 280,000 Canadian households to high-speed Internet. Connecting Canadians is about ensuring that Canadians, whether they live in urban centres or remote regions of the country, have access to the latest wireless technologies and high-speed networks at the most affordable prices possible.”

 – James Moore, Minister of Industry

“The launch of Connecting Canadians is great news for [rural and remote communities in location/region]. It will bring the benefits of high-speed Internet to even more people in our area, ensuring they can take advantage of the opportunities of the digital age. Through Connecting Canadians, our government is working to help Canadian businesses and individuals get access to the Internet speeds necessary for them to interact and work online while remaining in their communities.”

– Diane Finley, Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk