The federal and Quebec governments are investing $94 million to connect over 18,200 homes in Quebec to high-speed internet by September 2022.
The investment will support projects led primarily by co-operatives, non-profit organizations and local businesses.
“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 government outlined in a news release.
The two levels of government launched Operation High Speed earlier this year to connect 150,000 homes in Quebec to high-speed internet. This latest amount of funding will be dedicated to the second phase of the initiative.
The second phase provides funding 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.
Further, the second phase will aim to connect 18,200 households for which there are currently no projects planned. The government notes that these homes are in areas that are difficult to reach and sparsely populated.
It outlines that technological solutions are currently being considered and that the strategy chosen to reach these households by 2022 will be announced at a later date.
“Think of the single moms who are working from home and helping their kids with online learning, the entrepreneurs who are moving their business online, and the farming families who are innovating and ensuring our food security,” said Rural Economic Development Minister Maryam Monsef in the news release.
“Our government will continue to work with all partners to connect as many households as possible, as quickly as possible, to this essential service.”
Operation High Speed aims to give Quebec the highest connectivity rate in Canada, at more than 99 percent.