Fast and reliable Internet soon available in underserved regions
CALGARY, AB, June 21, 2022 /CNW/ – The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has formalized their agreement with Arrow Technology Group Limited Partnership (Arrow) to commit $10 million towards new broadband infrastructure serving Indigenous and rural communities in Alberta.
Under the terms of the agreement, Arrow will be responsible for all aspects of construction, installation, operations and maintenance of the new broadband service.
The new broadband service will close an infrastructure gap for at least 17 Indigenous and one rural community in Alberta. These communities will enjoy the same benefits their urban counterpart already use such as online education, e-health and e-commerce services.
Access to high-speed Internet is a critical part of our daily lives and allows everyone living in Canada the opportunity to participate in the digital economy. Arrow has already begun to build out their broadband infrastructure.
The CIB’s financing is in addition to grant funding from:
- Government of Canada’s Universal Broadband Fund Rapid Response Stream
- Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s Broadband Fund
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Connect to Innovate
Due to the low population density and current lack of broadband infrastructure in rural areas, the cost of connection per household is very high. The CIB’s low financing rates allows broadband connectivity to expand in unserved and underserved communities at a quicker pace.
- The infrastructure to be deployed consists of building a fibre optic backbone network and a series of greenfield ‘last mile’ projects to connect homes.
- The broadband service will offer speeds of 50-300 Mbps and unlimited data, enhancing telecommunications services for residents, businesses and public service delivery.
- The CIB has a commitment to invest $35 billion over the long-term across its priority sectors, and within that overall commitment, a target to invest a minimum of $1 billion in partnership with and for the benefit of Indigenous Peoples.
- Through the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative (ICII), the CIB is investing in community-based projects which provide a service and a direct benefit to an Indigenous community or communities to help close the infrastructure gap.
- The Government of Alberta works collaboratively with the CIB to encourage and coordinate the use of CIB financing to maximize infrastructure investment and development in our province.
- The CIB’s investments are subject to approval by its Board of Directors.
Our investment with Arrow and other Government of Canada partners will help bring essential services to underserviced Indigenous communities and level the playing field regarding access to Internet services. New broadband access can create new economic opportunities, support public services like health and education and strengthen communities.
Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank
A reliable and affordable internet connection is essential – it is how families keep in touch with loved ones and access services, how businesses gain access to new markets, and how communities attract more visitors from Canada and abroad. The Canada Infrastructure Bank, working with its partners, will accelerate the construction of new broadband infrastructure and help close the gap between rural and urban communities in Alberta.
The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance
Arrow Technology Group is committed to supporting the growth and development of Alberta’s First Nations communities. Connecting the unconnected is crucial to achieving sustainable development goals and encouraging First Nation participation in the global economy.
Vaughn Paul, President, Arrow Technology Group Limited Partnership
Arrow’s high-speed Internet projects will have a positive impact, connecting the communities who need it most, and opening doors to new educational, social and business opportunities.
Grand Chief George Arcand Jr., Confederacy of Treaty 6
The Government of Alberta is supportive of the CIB’s investment in infrastructure required to connect our remote and rural communities. This investment provides economic development opportunities for Albertans and is an excellent example of infrastructure being built using alternative capital financing methods.
The Honourable Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure, Government of Alberta
SOURCE Canada Infrastructure Bank