Residents in rural PEI to benefit from expanded high speed, broadband Internet coverage

From: Infrastructure Canada

Tracadie Cross, Prince Edward Island, March 15, 2019—The availability of high‑speed Internet infrastructure in rural communities is critical for economic development and access to essential resources and public services. The Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island are investing in broadband infrastructure that will make it easier for Islanders to connect with people across the province and the world, supporting sustained economic growth for years to come.

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural and Economic Development, and the Honourable H. Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island, today announced the expansion and improvement of internet service across the province.

This project will deliver high-speed broadband Internet services to almost 30,000 residents across PEI, through a combination of fibre and fixed wireless technologies. It will significantly increase the quality of services with a stable and faster broadband experience. Once complete, this project will create new potential for innovation and economic development, helping business owners connect with new markets, allowing for better access to services, and providing students with the ability to broaden their studies.

The Government of Canada is contributing more than $33.1 million through the Rural and Northern Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The Province of Prince Edward Island will provide over $3.5 million, while Bell Canada and Xplornet together will provide more than $37 million. Funding will only be disbursed to Bell Canada and Xplornet as performance and construction based milestones are met, and this will be closely monitored by the province.

“Broadband Internet service is key for the prosperity of rural Canadian communities. This project will allow Islanders to be better connected to friends, family, and businesses, as well as have better access to online services and tools. By providing better broadband connections, we are increasing the potential for economic growth and diversification in small and rural communities, and enhancing quality of life.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural and Economic Development

“Investing in PEI’s broadband services will help improve quality of life of all Islanders, and provide greater economic opportunities for residents and business. Working with our partners we are providing our communities with the best internet connection in Canada.”

The Honourable Lawrence A. MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs, and Member of Parliament for Cardigan

“This is historic news for rural Islanders who for many years now have sought access to fast, reliable internet. This project will provide rural businesses with a better ability to compete on national and international stages, and will improve quality of life for residents, families and especially students. Once complete this project will make PEI the national leader in terms of province-wide Internet and will allow our province to meet the CRTC benchmark for speed by 2021.”

Honourable H. Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island

“At Xplornet, we are proud to serve rural Canadians. 5G technology is not just about urban Canada – we believe strongly that 5G can enable amazing broadband services wherever Canadians choose to live. We are looking forward to bringing 5G hybrid fibre wireless technology to Islanders and are grateful to both Governments for their continued support for rural broadband.”

Allison Lenehan, President and CEO of Xplornet

“As the largest investor in communications infrastructure in Prince Edward Island and throughout Atlantic Canada, Bell is proud to provide Islanders with expanded access to Canada’s most advanced broadband network and to the economic, community and social development opportunities that high-speed Internet access enables.”

Glen LeBlanc, Vice Chair, Atlantic, Bell Canada

Quick facts

  • Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.

  • $25.3 billion of this funding is supporting social infrastructure in Canadian communities.

  • These investments complement the Atlantic Growth Strategy, a federal-provincial action plan aimed at stimulating economic growth in the region through five priority areas:

    • Skilled workforce/Immigration;
    • Innovation;
    • Clean growth and climate change;
    • Trade and investment;
    • Infrastructure.
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