Canada to spend $500 million on high-speed Internet access for First Nations reserves
Last updated 1/9/2017 at 4:52pm
OTTAWA, ON-Canada is investing up to $500 million to bring high-speed internet access to 300 remote communities by 2021.
Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains stated that the "Connect to Innovate" program is the modern equivalent of building roads or railway spurs to remote locations, providing Internet access to schools, hospitals and First Nation band offices.
"Our government is committed to ensuring that all Canadians, businesses and institutions have access to the opportunities and tools they need to grow and succeed in Canada and abroad," Bains said in a statement.
Bains says high-speed access can unlock tremendous economic potential, leading to the creation of new jobs, products and businesses.
The deadline for applications for project funding in March 13, 2017. The money for the project was first announced in the Spring 2016 budget.
Some of the funds will be used to provide basic "backbone networks" and a portion will go to upgrading existing networks to bring Internet access to households and businesses that do not have speeds of at least five megabits per second.
"By increasing access to high-speed Internet, the Connect to Innovate program enhances our rural and remote communities' ability to innovate, participate in the digital economy and create jobs for middle-class families. This investment will improve the daily lives of Canadians."