Connecting Canadians aims to enhance Internet access for rural residents

Connecting Canadians is a key pillar of Digital Canada 150.

Connecting Canadians is a key pillar of Digital Canada 150, a plan for Canadians to take full advantage of the opportunities of the digital age. Its aim is to provide greater access to high-speed Internet to Canadians across the country.

From the launch of Connecting Canadians in summer 2014 until 2017, the Government of Canada will invest up to $305 million over five years to extend high-speed Internet service to 280,000 households in rural and remote regions of the country that currently have slower or no Internet access.

This means more Canadians will be able to connect with their teachers, doctors and families across the country as well as realize economic opportunities. These services all require large amounts of data to be transferred quickly.

To do this, they will work with Internet Service Providers (ISP) and provinces and territories in areas of the country where broadband Internet access is at slower speeds or non-existent.

During the summer of 2014 they are updating their maps of national broadband coverage and invite Canadians to provide feedback online to help better determine areas where there could be eligible projects.

Once they have determined where there are households in need of greater access to high-speed Internet, they will issue a call for applications for ISPs to get funding to build the needed wireless or wired infrastructure. This will take place in fall 2014.

In the spring of 2015 projects will be decided, and applications to Connecting Canadians will undergo a competitive national process. Successful projects will need to deliver high-speed Internet solutions for Canadians living in rural and remote regions of the country.

In 2015 projects will begin, and once projects are approved, ISPs work to put the proposed wireless or wired infrastructure in place. Once projects are completed, Canadians can subscribe to new or improved services from ISPs.

To learn more, check out www.ic.gc.ca. If you do not have access to a computer, call 1-800-328-6189 and they will get a feedback form to you.