The Government of Manitoba is spending $20 million as part of an $83.9 million high-speed internet access program for 112 rural and remote communities in Manitoba.
On Tuesday January 9, 2018, the federal and provincial governments announced the investment that will see improvements to backbone networks, upgrading capacity and extending access. 48 of the communities that will get high-speed internet are First Nation and of those 21 of the communities do not have year-round road access.
This enhanced service will create economic opportunities for individuals, businesses and communities
“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 where they live. 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,” said The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
“This exciting project to increase and deliver reliable access to broadband networks is key to unlocking the potential of our remote northern communities,” said Premier Brian Pallister.
As part of the project, Manitoba Hydro will allow First Nations-owned and Operated Clear Sky Connections to access and use their existing fibre-optic cable network. The project will include 10-gigabit ethernet fibre connections to multiple communities and institutions giving them access to high-speed internet services that are on par with areas in southern Manitoba.
“Manitoba Hydro is pleased to be a part of today’s announcement with this valuable in-kind contribution,” said Kelvin Shepherd, president and CEO, Manitoba Hydro. “By providing access to capacity on our existing fibre network, we are helping to facilitate bringing broadband high-speed communications and internet – and the enhanced economic and educational opportunities that brings – to even more Manitobans. This is a great way to leverage our existing infrastructure without incremental costs to our customers.”
This project is part of the federal government’s five-year Connect to Innovate program designed to extend and enhance broadband service in rural and remote communities.
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