High-speed Internet coming to more rural areas in Saskatchewan
Minister Ritz announces major investment that will bring high-speed Internet to over 40,000 homes in Saskatchewan
North Battleford, Saskatchewan – Industry Canada
Everyday tasks that were once done in person, such as shopping, communicating, learning and banking, are now done online. To help Canadians have better access to these and many other online opportunities, the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Member of Parliament for Battlefords–Lloydminster, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry, today announced that the Government of Canada will provide $4.63 million to YourLink to connect over 40,000 homes in Saskatchewan to high-speed Internet. This investment will benefit over 100 communities in the southern half of Saskatchewan.
Minister Ritz highlighted the fact that over 6,000 households in the Battlefords–Lloydminster region will benefit from the investment announced today. The project is expected to be completed before the end of April 2018, delivering Internet to homes at a minimum speed of five megabits per second (Mbps).
For Canadians who live in communities with slow or no Internet, access to high-speed services will lead to new economic opportunities and the creation of new jobs, products and services.
By Canada's 150th birthday in 2017, over 98 percent of Canadian households will be able to subscribe to new or improved high-speed Internet services, delivering on the Government's commitment to rural Canadians.
* Communities to be connected in southern Saskatchewan include, but are not limited to:
* Albertville, Battleford, Carruthers, Dinsmore, Estevan, Loon Lake, Melfort, Moose Jaw, Nipawin, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Rouleau, Swift Current, Tompkins, Wakaw Lake, Weldon and Yorkton.
* Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada created the Connecting Canadians program, backed by a $305-million commitment to connect an additional 280,000 households in rural and remote regions of the country to high-speed Internet services at minimum speeds of 5 Mbps.
* The Government has exceeded its Economic Action Plan 2014 target by over 75,000 households in the first round of project approvals, bringing high-speed Internet access to more than 356,000 homes across Canada, and nearly 40 percent under budget.
* Last summer, the Government invited Canadians to provide feedback online to help better determine areas in need of high-speed Internet access. Once information was received, Industry Canada invited Internet service providers to submit proposals for funding under Connecting Canadians to build the wireless or wired infrastructure that will provide services to rural and remote communities in need.
* Industry Canada received over 300 applications to the Connecting Canadians program from Internet service providers across Canada.
* Every province and territory across the country will benefit from the Connecting Canadians program. Announcements of individual projects will be made throughout the summer.
"Our government understands the unique challenges that customers face in Saskatchewan's rural areas. This improved high-speed Internet will provide rural customers with a much needed tool for continued success in today's world of commerce."
– Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Regional Minister for Saskatchewan and Member of Parliament for Battlefords–Lloydminister
"Today's announcement is another step toward our government's goal of bringing high-speed Internet to rural and remote communities across Canada. Access to high-speed Internet will ensure that all Canadians can unlock the tremendous economic potential of a digitally connected Canada."
– James Moore, Minister of Industry
"As the largest private sector provider of rural broadband in Saskatchewan, we intimately appreciate the challenges faced by rural Canadians in achieving equitable access to broadband. Broadband Internet has rapidly become an essential service in today's global village. We applaud the Government of Canada for its commitment to partner with network operators. This undertaking will provide many more Canadians living in rural Saskatchewan with broadband Internet access to the global digital economy."
– Sumit Kumar, President and CEO of YourLink, a division of Vecima Networks Inc.
* Backgrounder: Connecting Canadians (southern Saskatchewan)<http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=1005569>
* Connecting Canadians website<http://www.ic.gc.ca/connectingcanadians>
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