High-speed internet is coming to rural communities in Alberta.
On Thursday (July 22), the provincial government announced an investment of up to $150-million towards expanding broadband internet connection in rural and Indigenous communities in the province.
Currently, about 80 per cent of Indigenous communities and 67 per cent of rural communities do not have access to the high-speed internet targets set by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
The funding from the government will be used to start broadband expansions projects as soon as possible.
Premier Jason Kenney called the funding an ‘initial investment’, adding that details on how the province will roll out the funding are coming soon.
“This investment ensures individuals, families and businesses in these parts of the province will not be left behind. It is Alberta’s way of saying that we’re ready to invest in this important technology,” said Kenney.
In 2016, the CRTC set targets to connect every Canadian home and business to minimum network speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads by 2030 after declaring it an essential service.
The total cost of expanding high-speed internet to underserved areas of Alberta is estimated at $1-billion. The province is currently working with the private sector and federal government, which announced $2.75-billion in funding last year to support high-speed internet projects to share the expansion cost.