High-Speed Internet to Connect 72 Rural Remote Manitoba Communities

High-Speed Internet to Connect 72 Rural Remote Manitoba Communities

Internet
Lights are illuminated on a modem in Chelsea, Que., on July 11, 2011. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

A combined $83.9 million investment by the province and the federal government will ignite high-speed internet service in 72 rural and remote communities in Manitoba.

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains was in Winnipeg Tuesday to make the announcement.

“Access to high-speed internet is not a luxury; it’s essential,” Bains said. “High-speed internet service is a basic tool that all Canadians should have access to, regardless of their postal code.

As part of the agreement, Manitoba Hydro is providing a $20 million in-kind contribution to allow Clear Sky Communications, a Manitoba First Nations-owned and -operated internet service provider, to access and utilize existing fibre-optic cable network and related assets.

The project will include 10-gigabit ethernet fibre connections that will provide 72 communities — 37 of which are First Nations and 18 are located in remote regions of northern Manitoba — and 88 institutions with access to high-speed internet services on par with southern urban areas.

The announcement is part of Ottawa’s five-year Connect to Innovate program, which will extend and enhance broadcast service in rural and remote Canadian communities.

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