More than 10,000 rural Alberta families, including First Nation homes, will get improved access to high-speed internet thanks to a funding pledge from the federal and provincial government.
The joint declaration, which covered both levels of government, committed $70.6 million of previously announced $780 million in funding to boost Internet access for 10,400 homes including 2,700 Indigenous families.
“We all know that the internet is no longer a luxury in this day and age – it’s a necessity,” Jodi Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, said in a statement. “We need to close the connectivity gap and make sure that every nook and cranny in Alberta has access to reliable, high-speed internet.”
The rural areas of the county that will benefit from the initial $70.6 million are listed below. Specific project details, including timelines, are expected to be announced in the coming months.
Hutchings described the funding as “great news for Albertans”.
“Having a fast and reliable internet helps rural communities access essential services such as healthcare and education, participate in the digital economy or simply connect with loved ones. Our government will continue to work alongside our partners to achieve our connectivity goals and ensure that every Canadian, regardless of about where he lives, to high-speed internet by 2030.”
Nate Horner, Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development, says the high-speed internet news “brings hope to the thousands of Albertans who live in some of the most underserved rural communities in our province.”
“We all know that many of the educational and economic opportunities of the future are online, and this funding to improve broadband will help our rural communities seize these opportunities, which will go a long way in helping them attract new entrants to continue and grow, and allow our farmers to compete on the global stage.”
A $780 million Canada-Alberta broadband partnership, with equal contributions from province and federal, was announced in March. The agreement aims to connect nearly 200,000 Alberta homes in remote areas of the province with broadband Internet access.
Alberta has set the end of the 2026-27 fiscal year as its goal to provide every home in the province with high-speed internet.
The federal government has invested $2.75 billion in a Global Broadband Fund that aims to bring 98 percent of Canadians with access to high-speed internet by 2026 and every Canadian, including those in hard-to-reach areas of the country, by 2030.
Communities that will benefit from the first IHA projects include:
Arcadia (Sucker Creek) • Bay Tree • Big Horn 144A (7264) • Bigstone Cree Nation • Bigstone Cree • (Wabasca 166) • Bigstone Cree (Wabasca 166B) • Bigstone Cree (Wabasca 166C) • Bigstone Cree (Wabasca 166D) mountain Bluffton • Bonanza • Brant • Brocket (Piikani Nation) • Carmangay • Kylie • Champion • Clooney • Driftpile • Enilda • Badge • Faust • Lake Gifts • Gleichen • Gordondale • Guy • Herronton • High Prairie • Horse Lake First Nation • Jean Cottier Gossard • Kinoso • Kirkcaldy • Little Bow Resort • Mosley • Namaka • Queenstown • Rainbow Lake • Rumby • Salt Prairie • Shouldais • Cexica Nation • Sunset House • Swan River First Nation • Travers • Tsutina Nation • Fumar Estates • Vulcan • Wabasca- Desmarais • Wanham • Watino • Webster • Whitburn • Woking
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