Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced an additional $750 million of funding for the government’s Universal Broadband Fund, which now stands at $1.75 billion.
The government has outlined that it plans to connect 98 percent of Canadians to high-speed internet by 2026, and 100 percent by 2030.
This additional funding is on top of the $1 billion announced in Budget 2019, and aims to help advance infrastructure projects with partners like the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
“Our government is launching the Universal Broadband Fund to connect all Canadians to high-speed internet. This fund will be used to build infrastructure across the country, especially in rural communities,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on November 9th.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was joined by Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Rural Economic Development Minister Maryam Monsef to make the announcement.
The government is taking a multi-pronged approach to the fund. The rapid response stream of the fund is making $150 million available for projects that will be completed quickly and provide Canadians service by November 15th, 2021.
Further, the fund includes $50 million in funding dedicated to improving mobile internet availability in Indigenous communities along with rural highways and roads.
The federal government has also entered into a $600 million agreement with Telesat to secure high-speed internet capacity through its low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellation.
Monsef outlined that government officials are on standby to begin assessing and approving applications for the fund.
“Eligible applicants must have the ability to design, build and run broadband infrastructure and must identify who will build, own and operate the broadband network,” a news release states.
Today’s announcement comes five months after Minister Monsef stated that the applications for the fund would be opening up in the coming days.
More to come…