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Canada is expanding high-speed Internet access in Saskatchewan

Press Release

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

June 3, 2024

Fairness for every generation means making sure everyone in Canada has access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet, no matter where they live. That is why the Government of Canada is bringing high-speed Internet access and mobile connectivity to underserved communities—namely Indigenous communities—and roads in Saskatchewan.

Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, announced a total of up to $160 million in federal funding for projects to bring high-speed Internet access to communities across Saskatchewan and provide mobile connectivity along roads in the province.

Up to $105 million of this funding is being allocated to SaskTel for projects that will benefit up to 5,700 households in communities across West Central and Northern Saskatchewan, the majority of which are Indigenous. A list of communities to be connected by these projects, along with full project details, will be released at a later date. In addition, through its Capital Plan, SaskTel will upgrade the speed available in 19 more communities across the province to 50/10 megabits per second (Mbps).

The Minister also announced full details of seven federally funded projects to bring high-speed Internet access to more than 8,000 households, of which 3,200 are Indigenous, and two projects that will provide mobile service along 500 kilometres of roadway within Indigenous communities and along highways. The government will contribute $55 million in total for these projects. The funding recipients are Access Communications Co-operative Ltd., Advanced Interactive Canada Inc., BH Telecom Corp., Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation in partnership with Sequorum Inc., Meadow Lake Tribal Council, and SaskTel.

The Government of Canada’s funding is provided through the Universal Broadband Fund, a program designed to ensure that Canadians in rural, remote and Indigenous communities have access to reliable high-speed Internet and mobile connectivity.

Everyone in Canada will have access to high-speed Internet by 2030, and 98% of Canadians will be connected by 2026. Canada is on track to meet its 2026 connectivity targets. These projects will build toward that goal, and the government will continue to invest in infrastructure that creates new opportunities in communities and makes sure they can benefit from all of Canada’s potential.

Quotes

“High-speed Internet is no longer a luxury. The federal funding committed today will bring reliable high-speed Internet to up to 13,700 underserved homes in communities across Saskatchewan and provide mobile connectivity along 500 km of roads. It is only fair that communities large and small have a reliable connection so they can grow their potential in this digital world.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
“Access to reliable high-speed Internet service empowers people in urban, rural and northern communities by offering vital connections to education, health care, economic opportunities, and family and friends. The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to ensuring that every corner of our province has access to the tools and technologies needed to thrive in the digital age. I thank the Government of Canada for this funding, which will accelerate and enhance the more than $1 billion in investments that SaskTel is continuing to make to connect more than 225 communities and 85% of Saskatchewan homes to lightning-fast fibre Internet service.”
– Jim Lemaigre, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Athabasca, on behalf of the Honourable Dustin Duncan, Minister Responsible for SaskTel

Quick facts

  • Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to Internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.
  • The Universal Broadband Fund is a $3.225 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help provide high-speed Internet access to 98% of Canadians by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100% access by 2030.
  • Today, 93.5% of Canadian households have access to high-speed Internet, compared to just 79% in 2014.
  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada has invested $88 million in connectivity projects in Saskatchewan.

Associated links

Contacts
Connor Burton
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
connor.burton@acoa-apeca.gc.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
media@ised-isde.gc.ca

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