Rural Albertans to gain high-speed internet access

More than 10,000 rural Alberta homes, including First Nation homes, will have improved access to high-speed Internet thanks to a funding commitment from federal and provincial governments.

The joint announcement, attended by both tiers of government, provides $70.6 million of the previously announced $780 million in funding to boost Internet access for 10,400 households, including 2,700 Indigenous households.

“We all know that internet is no longer a luxury these days – it’s a necessity,” Gudie Hutchings, Minister for Rural Economic Development, said in a statement. “We need to close the connectivity gap and ensure every corner of Alberta has access to reliable, high-speed internet.”

The rural areas of the province that will benefit from the initial $70.6 million are listed below. Specific project details, including timelines, are expected to be released in the coming months.

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Hutchings called the funding “great news for Albertans”.

“Fast and reliable internet helps rural communities access essential services like health care and education, participate in the digital economy, or simply connect with loved ones. Our government will continue to work side-by-side with our partners to meet our connectivity goals and ensure that every Canadian, wherever they live, has access to high-speed internet by 2030.”

Alberta Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development Nate Horner said the news of high-speed internet “brings hope to thousands of Albertans living in some of our province’s most underserved rural communities.”

“We all know that many of the educational and business opportunities of the future will be found online, and this funding for better broadband will help our rural communities seize those opportunities, which will go a long way in attracting newcomers to stay and grow. and enable our farmers to compete on the world stage,” Horner said in a statement.

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The $780 million broadband partnership between Canada and Alberta, with equal contributions from the province and government, was announced in March. The agreement aims to connect approximately 200,000 Alberta homes in remote parts of the province to broadband Internet access.

Alberta’s goal by the end of the 2026-27 fiscal year is to have high-speed Internet access in all homes in the province.

The federal government has invested $2.75 billion in the Universal Broadband Fund, which aims to provide 98 percent of Canadians with high-speed internet access by 2026 and all Canadians, including those in the hardest-to-reach areas of the country, by 2030 associate.

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Communities that will benefit from the first enhanced high-speed internet access 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) Bilberry Mountain • Bluffton • Bonanza • Brant • Brocket (Piikani Nation) • Carmangay • Cayley • Champion Cluny • Driftpile • Enilda • Ensign • Faust • Gift Lake • Same • Gordondale • Guy • Herronton • High Prairie • Horse Lake First Nation • Jean Coté Joussard Kinuso Kirkcaldy Little Bow Resort Mossleigh Namaka Queenstown Rainbow Lake Rimbey Salt Prairie Shouldice Siksika Nation Sunset House Swan River First Nation Travers Tsuut’ina Nation Viewmar Estates Vulcan Wabasca-Desmarais • Wanham • Watino • Webster • Whitburn • Woking

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