Cathy McLeod, Member of Parliament for Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo, today announced the launch of Connecting Canadians, a new Government of Canada program that will bring high-speed Internet to 280,000 Canadian households that currently do not have Internet or have slower access. Between now and 2017, the Government will invest up to $305 million to extend access to broadband Internet at 5 megabits per second (Mbps) to 98 percent of Canadian households, mainly in rural and remote communities across Canada.
In the weeks ahead, constituents of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo are invited to visit the new Connecting Canadians website (www.ic.gc.ca/ConnectingCanadians) to offer their input on communities whose internet service does not meet the 5 Mbps threshold, and could be eligible to receive funding through this program.
The Connecting Canadians website features interactive maps of Canada which have been developed to obtain feedback from Canadians, ISPs, and provincial and territorial governments across the country to identify those communities that are most in need of investment for greater access to high-speed Internet. Information about communities considered in need and eligible for funding will be made public this fall, followed by a call for applications from ISPs. Companies interested in participating in Connecting Canadians will be invited to submit applications for projects this fall. The first projects are expected to be announced in spring 2015.
“For all Canadians, especially those living in rural and remote areas, having access to high-speed Internet helps create new jobs as well as new innovative products and businesses,” stated MP McLeod. “As more and more Canadians work and engage online, ensuring those in rural and remote areas have high-speed Internet access will enable them to fully take advantage of the digital economy.”
Connecting Canadians delivers on our Government’s commitment in Economic Action Plan 2014 to bring high-speed Internet to an additional 280,000 Canadian households in rural and remote regions of the country. This program follows the successful Broadband Canada program, which ran from 2009–12, and connected nearly 220,000 Canadian households in rural regions to 1.5 Mbps Internet for the first time. Today, as a result, more than 99 percent of Canadian households in communities large and small have access to this 1.5-Mbps level of service.
“The launch of Connecting Canadians is great news for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo. It will bring the benefits of high-speed Internet to even more people in our area, ensuring they can take advantage of the opportunities of the digital age. Through programs like Connecting Canadians, our Government is working to help Canadian businesses and individuals get access to the Internet speeds necessary for them to interact and work online while remaining in their communities,” concluded MP McLeod.