To increase broadband capacity in rural, remote and Indigenous communities, the federal government has announced that it will match Alberta’s $ 150 million investment.
The Canada-Alberta Broadband Partnership Agreement establishes the framework for the two governments to work together to select and advance projects for the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), a federal program that supports high-speed Internet projects in rural and remote areas of the country.
In recent months, the two governments have reviewed applications for funding from the Alberta FBU and plan to begin announcing specific projects early in the new year. Albertans can expect to have shovels in the ground during the 2022 construction season.
To completely bridge the digital divide, it is estimated that $ 1 billion in public and private funds will be needed. The governments of Alberta and Canada agreed in the MOU that if additional joint funding becomes available, the existing agreement will be updated to reflect this commitment to additional support.
âBroadband connectivity creates opportunities for our children and our communities. It enables rural economic development, increases access to health care, creates smart farms, improves education, enables information sharing to fight crime, promotes rural life and allows us to be leaders global across a range of industries, âsaid Paul McLauchlin, President, Rural Alberta Municipalities.
Currently, approximately 201,000 households in Alberta do not have high-speed Internet access.
In 2016, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) declared broadband a basic telecommunications service and set targets to connect all Canadian homes and businesses at minimum network speeds of d ‘By 2030: 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads, 10 Mbps for downloads.
In November 2020, the Government of Canada launched UBF, now worth $ 2.75 billion. This fund will help support high speed internet projects across the country