The governments of Canada and Quebec are announcing a joint investment of $3.2 million to speed up the deployment of high-speed Internet to 2,980 households in the Coaticook RCM by September 2022.
The announcement was made yesterday by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Member of Parliament for Compton-Stanstead, and Geneviève Hébert, Deputy Government Whip and Member of the National Assembly for Saint-François. This joint investment comes under Phase II of Canada-Quebec Operation High Speed, which was announced on the morning of July 21 and includes $94 million in combined government funding, contributed equally, for 13 new community-led projects. Phase II projects complement those announced last March as part of Operation High Speed’s first phase.
Co-operating with telecommunications companies and organizations, adding a deadline with penalties to new contracts and providing coverage for all homes in the region where projects are being undertaken will ensure quick and effective deployment.
“The Coaticook RCM team has shown great leadership in being among the first to obtain funding to connect our region. There were many technical challenges, but I’m very happy to announce that the TACTIC project will be included in the Ottawa-Quebec service provider agreement, which will increase funding and ensure that all residents can be connected to high-speed Internet by September 2022.”
– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Member of Parliament for Compton-Stanstead
“I’m delighted that all Saint-François households will have access to high-speed Internet services by September 2022. We are speeding up the deployment of infrastructure for the remaining 2,980 households. Quebec’s contribution to this important $22.6-million project is $8.6 million: $7 million from the Québec branché program and a new contribution of $1.6 million under Phase II of Operation High Speed.”
– Geneviève Hébert, Deputy Government Whip and Member of the National Assembly for Saint-François
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this news, and in the coming weeks, we’ll finally be able to announce the service provider chosen and the deployment schedule for the high-speed Internet the region’s been so eagerly awaiting. After months of work, it’s a huge step for our organization, and we’ll now be able to turn our attention to other parts of the project to ensure that our first residents are connected by the end of 2021.”
– Denis Hébert, President of the Table d’action en communication et technologies de l’information de la MRC de Coaticook (TACTIC)
Canada-Quebec Operation High Speed will give Quebec the highest connectivity rate in Canada, at more than 99%.
The Government of Canada has allocated billions of dollars to Internet infrastructure in rural and remote regions, including $2.75 billion as part of the Universal Broadband Fund, of which $1 billion comes from Budget 2021.
To date, the Government of Quebec has invested more than $1 billion to accelerate high-speed Internet connectivity for all Quebecers by fall 2022.
Phase II of Operation High Speed provides for an investment of $94 million to support deployment projects by the Coopérative de solidarité du Suroît (CSUR), the Table d’action en communication et technologies de l’information de la MRC de Coaticook (TACTIC), First Nations Wireless, Développement Innovations Haut-Richelieu (IHR Télécom), Xplornet, Bell, Cooptel and the Association pour la télédistribution et radio La Minerve, as well as those of the Antoine-Labelle, Argenteuil, D’Autray, Matawinie and Montcalm RCMs.
The 18,200 households that will be connected under Phase II are in addition to the 150,000 households covered in the March 2021 announcement and the approximately 66,000 households already covered under other government programs.
To reach the goal of optimal connectivity in all the regions by 2022, approximately 18,200 households, for which no projects are planned, will still need to be connected. These households are in areas that are particularly difficult to reach and sparsely populated. Technological solutions are currently being considered, and the strategy chosen to reach these households by 2022 will be announced at a later date.