TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 05/09/10 -- The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced the first series of projects to receive conditional funding approval under the Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians program. These 52 projects, in nine provinces and territories across Canada, will bring broadband Internet access to an estimated 169 000 households.
"I am delighted that, as a result of today's announcement, so many individuals, families and businesses across Canada will soon have access to high-speed Internet service for the first time," said Minister Clement. "Canada is poised to make great strides into the digital economy of the 21st century, and this news is a major part of our strategy."
Budget 2009 - Canada's Economic Action Plan provided $225 million for the development and implementation of a strategy to extend broadband coverage. By far the biggest component of this strategy is Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians, an initiative that targets Canadians living in unserved and underserved areas. This is the first funding announcement under Broadband Canada; others will follow until all available funds have been allocated.
For the individuals, families and business that will now have access to broadband Internet, this will mean access to important economic and social benefits, including telehealth, business opportunities and distance learning. More broadly, it will encourage economic development, spur innovation and improve the quality of life in hundreds of communities from coast to coast to coast.
The attached backgrounder provides more information on this round of projects. More details, including the areas covered by these projects, are available on the Broadband Canada website.
Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians - First Funding Announcement
About the May 9, 2010, National Announcement:
The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced that 52 projects across Canada have been conditionally approved for funding under the Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians program. These projects, which collectively will receive a federal contribution of approximately $76.7 million, will bring broadband access to an estimated 169 000 households currently unserved or underserved by high-speed Internet.
The following companies are conditionally approved for funding as part of today's announcement:
-- ABC (Allen Business) Communications Ltd.
-- Barrett Xplore Inc.
-- Corridor Communications Inc.
-- Cybernet Communications Ltd.
-- FlexiNET Broadband Inc.
-- GwaiiTel Society
-- Manitoba NetSet Ltd.
-- Naskapi Imuun Inc.
-- Northern Broadband Ltd.
-- Northwestel Inc.
-- OmniGlobe Networks - Conseil des Montagnais de Natashquan
-- OmniGlobe Networks - Shamattawa First Nation
-- OmniGlobe Broadband Inc.
-- PCC Communications Inc.
-- Videotron ltee
-- Whapmagoostui Eeyouch Economic Development Corporation
More details on today's announcement, including the areas covered by these projects, are available on the Broadband Canada website.
Today's funding announcement is the first under the Broadband Canada program. Others involving additional geographic areas, regions, provinces and companies will be made in the near future, until all program funds are allocated.
About Broadband Canada
As part of Budget 2009 - Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada provided $225 million over three years, beginning in 2009-10, for Industry Canada to develop and implement a strategy to extend broadband coverage. By far the biggest component of this strategy is Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians.
The program aims to extend broadband service to as many unserved and underserved Canadian households as possible. As communities vary greatly in size, this program focuses on connecting households. This method provides a clearer understanding of service availability for Canadians: the fact that a community has broadband access does not always mean that service is available to individual households.
Office of the Honourable Tony Clement
Minister of Industry
Lynn Meahan - Press Secretary