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.