Manitoba’s rural and remote communities are the latest to receive federal government funding to improve high-speed internet access in the region.
As per the federal government’s Connect to Innovate program, 112 communities across Manitoba — including 48 Indigenous communities — will receive $83.9 million CAD in high-speed internet funding.
The federal government will be providing $43.7 million as part of Connect to Innovate, the Government of Manitoba will be providing approximately $20 million, Indigenous Services Canada will be providing $3.5 million, while $16.7 million will be coming “from other contributors,” according to a January 9th, 2018 media release.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) also released the companies that will be receiving funding.
Clear Sky Communications will be receiving $33.5 million to provide 72 communities and 88 institutions with high-speed internet; Valley Fiber Limited will receive $10.3 million for 27 communities and 30 institutions; Bell MTS will receive $2.7 million for eight communities and nine institutions; while Broadband Communications North will receive $637,000 for six communities.
ISED further explained that $38.5 million of its $43.7 million will go towards building up “backbone networks that will bring fibre to the majority of the 112 communities, connect institutions and indirectly improve internet connections for an estimated 19,000 households, while $5.17 million is going to be used to directly connect 4,150 underserved households that cannot even access service of 5 Mbps.”
The Government of Manitoba’s $20 million is expected to go to Clear Sky Communications.
Connect to Innovate has previously funded communities in Ontario, Quebec, Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador.