QUÉBEC, March 15, 2021 /CNW/ – A combined investment of more than $1.5 million from the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec and Cogeco means that high-speed Internet network access is now available to 774 households and 12 businesses in the Laurentides Region. As a result of this collaboration in the telecommunications sector, residents of Estérel and Lac-des-Seize-Îles in the Pays-d’en-Haut Regional County Municipality can count on an extended network providing access to reliable and effective Internet service at an affordable price.
The completion of this connectivity project was announced today by Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Argenteuil–La Petite-Nation; Gilles Bélanger, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier of Quebec (high-speed Internet); Nadine Girault, Quebec Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration, and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region; Agnès Grondin, Member of the National Assembly for Argenteuil; Joseph Dydzak, Mayor of Estérel; and Johanne Hinse, General Manager for Quebec and Vice-President of Programming and Community Relations at Cogeco.
In Estérel, 621 households and 10 businesses have new broadband Internet network access, whereas high-speed connectivity in Lac-des-Seize-Îles is now possible for 153 households and 2 businesses. Government funding was provided through the Québec branché and Connect to Innovate programs, with the federal government and the provincial government each investing $57,160 in this backbone network project. Project partner Cogeco Connexion Inc., which also invested in building a last-mile network, contributed $1,425,088, bringing the total investment to $1,539,408.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the degree to which the regions rely on the Internet to function every day. Given the constant evolution of technological tools, access to quality high-speed Internet service at an affordable price is essential for everyone, whether it’s for working, learning or communicating with loved ones.
“Access to reliable connectivity is key to the success of residents in rural regions of Quebec. The COVID–19 crisis has shown us how important it is to be able to access the digital world. By investing in these projects through the Connect to Innovate program, we are helping bridge the digital divide so Quebecers in the regions can also benefit from all the advantages the digital world has to offer. To date, the Government of Canada has invested over $213 million in 54 projects, which will connect up to 250,293 households in Quebec.”
– Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Argenteuil–La Petite-Nation
“The Premier of Quebec has made a formal commitment to provide high-speed Internet access to all Quebecers by the fall of 2022. The availability of reliable, effective and affordable services is a key element of economic recovery in the regions during this global pandemic. We are making this a priority and have recently tabled an additional $660 million in budgetary appropriations to provide the means to achieve this. There is still much work to be done, and we are doubling our efforts to achieve our goal.”
– Gilles Bélanger, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier of Quebec (high-speed Internet)
“I can proudly say that every day we actively contribute to reducing the digital divide that exists between major urban centres and the regions by working closely with the different levels of government. And providing service to homes and businesses in Estérel and Lac-des-Seizes-Îles is another step toward digital inclusion for all.”
– Johanne Hinse, General Manager for Quebec and Vice-President of Programming and Community Relations, Cogeco Connexion
- The Government of Canada’s $585-million Connect to Innovate program aims to improve high-speed Internet services in Canada’s rural and remote communities.
- The Government of Canada has allocated billions of dollars toward Internet infrastructure in rural and remote regions, including through the $1.75-billion Universal Broadband Fund.
- The goal of the $100-million Québec branché program (link in French only) is to provide high-speed Internet services to rural areas that are currently underserved or without service.
SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada