Federal government invests in rural connectivity

The Government of Canada announced a strategic initiative to extend broadband Internet connectivity to the nation’s most remote communities via satellite.

Industry Canada, together with Infrastructure Canada and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), launched the $155-million National Satellite Initiative which will expand broadband satellite Internet services to the far north, mid-north and isolated interior regions of Canada which cannot be served by any other means of connectivity.

According to Peter Hill, director of broadband for Industry Canada in Ottawa, while many factors worked into the equation to develop the satellite initiative, the fact that an estimated 400 communities are severely underserved was most notable.

“Satellite is the only choice (for these communities) and, if you know telecom, you will appreciate that satellite, for all its good, is typically a last choice because of its cost,” Hill said. “This (project) can give a lot of capacity to those communities so they will be able to benefit similarly as companies and homes and institutions do now in major economic centres (in Canada.)”

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