The federal government has approved the first project that will receive funding under the Universal Broadband Fund.
Rural Economic Development Minister Maryam Monsef announced that the shovel-ready project approved for funding will bring high-speed internet access to rural Alberta residents.
Netago Internet will be given $1 million to bring access to 7,179 underserved households in Starland County and Stettler County in Alberta by November 15th, 2021.
Monsef said in a statement that this project “will create jobs, increase health and safety, and ensure a stronger economic recovery for Albertans. It is the first of many projects our government will support to ensure every Canadian has access to this essential service.”
The federal government launched the $1.75 billion Universal Broadband Fund on November 9th and included the Rapid Response Stream. The stream has made up to $150 million immediately available for shovel-ready projects that can be completed by November 15th, 2021.
The stream was created to ensure that projects that are ready to move forward can receive quick approval to allow for construction to begin as soon as possible.
“Projects funded under the UBF, as well as through other public and private investments, will help connect 98 percent of Canadians to high-speed internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100 percent connectivity by 2030,” the government notes.
The fund is currently open for applications until February 21st, 2021. It’s worth noting that the government provides a service to help applicants build partnerships and navigate the application process. This is to ensure that the fund can support smaller applicants, such as Indigenous groups.
The government has also said that it will release reports to keep Canadians informed on the progress of the fund and its approved projects. The reports will allow Canadians to check the status of projects in their communities.
Image credit: @MaryamMonsefMP