British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba are getting a $10 million dollar boost from the Government of Canada to improve high-speed coverage in rural and remote households.

The funding is coming through Connecting Canadians, a federal program meant to provide underserved communities with Internet access at speeds of five megabits per second or more. It will affected upwards of 3,500 households in 22 rural and remote communities throughout the three provinces.

“Internet access is now an essential part of everyday life. Canadians go online for education, health services, entertainment, and shopping. Faster internet connections allow Canadians to innovate. It allows them to get the skills and training they need to qualify for well-paying jobs. The smallest businesses, no matter where they are located, can participate fully in the global marketplace and achieve global scale in a flash with faster internet service. We can no longer consider high-speed internet a luxury,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science, and economic development in a statement.

This new investment is part of the Liberal Government’s Innovation and Skills plan announced earlier this year. The funding is being provided via four companies scattered throughout the provinces. They are as follows:

  • Commstream of Winnipeg, which will receive $5 million to improve service for 1,900 households in communities throughout Manitoba.
  • Arrow Technology Group of Edmonton, which will receive $2.6 million to improve service for 1,000 households in Alberta.
  • CityWest of Prince Rupert, which will receive $1.7 million to improve service for 520 households in northern British Columbia.
  • Community Wireless Networks of Bamfield, which will receive $425,000 to improve service for 120 households in remote British Columbia.

Recently, Minister Bains announced a new $1.26 billion Strategic Innovation Fund as part of the wider Innovation and Skills plan.