Canada’s investments in broadband: 2022 roundup

This year, the Government of Canada, through the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), has taken action to help improve internet service for Canadians across the country. By 2026, it is aiming to ensure 98 per cent of Canadians have access to high-speed internet.

Here’s a roundup of the government’s top announcements through the year. 

January

In late January, over C$6.9 million in funding was announced for five projects that will bring high-speed internet to more than 3,455 households in rural Ontario.

In addition, C$763,000 in funding to bring high-speed internet to 373 households in Hearst, Ontario was also announced. 

February

In February, the government announced over C$41 million in funding for 21 projects designed to bring high-speed internet to 5,806 households in rural Alberta.

Over C$929,000 in funding was also announced for high-speed internet connections for 528 households in North West River and the Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

In the same month, C$555,777 in funding was announced to help bring high-speed internet to 136 households in rural areas across North Bay, Ontario.

Lastly, a “historic collaboration” was announced towards the end of February to also help the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. C$136 million was allocated to connect all remaining rural households in the province to reliable, high-speed internet.

Up to $116 million of this funding came from the Government of Canada, through the Universal Broadband Fund, and up to $20 million in funding was from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

March

In March the federal and provincial governments made additional announcements benefiting households in rural Ontario. Over C$6 million in funding was to bring access to reliable high-speed internet to 1,191 households in rural Ontario. Some of these communities include Innerkip, Strathallan, and Braemar.

In December 2021, the federal government and the province of Alberta announced that they would be providing up to C$300 million in joint funding to connect rural Alberta communities to high-speed internet. In March, the government built on this announcement, noting that it will bring its total funding commitment for connectivity in Alberta to up to $390 million.

Additionally, the governments of Canada and British Columbia announced a partnership to invest up to C$830 million to support projects that will improve access to high-speed internet in rural, remote and Indigenous communities throughout British Columbia. Under this plan, both levels of governments are to contribute C$415 million to help connect the entire province of British Columbia.

April

On Apr. 19, the government announced more than C$56 million in combined new federal and provincial funding for six projects to bring high-speed internet access to over 6,500 households in rural northern and southwestern Ontario, as well as in First Nation communities.

And just a few days later, on Apr. 22, C$1,079,430 in funding was announced to bring high-speed internet to 625 rural households in Newfoundland and Labrador. 

In the same month, the governments of Canada and Ontario also announced an investment of C$11 million to bring high-speed internet access to more than 6,100 homes, farms and businesses in Bruce and Grey counties by the end of 2022.

May

Over C$5.3 million in funding was announced for Bell Canada, Golden Rural High Speed and HuronTel to bring high-speed internet to almost 2,000 households in rural Ontario. Some communities that would benefit from this announcement include Alberton, Bogies Beach, Burnt River, and Caledon Village.

Later in May, the federal Minister of Rural Economic Development and British Columbia’s Minister of Citizens’ Services announced up to C$108 million in combined federal and provincial funding to bring high-speed internet access to 4,000 households and mobile connectivity to seven communities in rural British Columbia, including First Nations communities.

June

On Jun. 3, the government announced C$55 million in federal funding for Rogers and Xplornet to bring high-speed internet access to rural communities throughout New Brunswick. This funding provided faster service for over 100 communities in New Brunswick. 

Quebec was another province that received faster service in June. Up to C$8.2 million in combined funding with the Government of Quebec was announced to bring high-speed internet to 25 communities in rural Quebec. 

July

In July, the government announced more than C$750,000 in funding for Mage Networks to bring high-speed internet to 357 rural households in Campbellville, Ontario.

Investments to bring high speed internet to almost 700 households in Newfoundland and Labrador were also announced. 

August

On Aug. 26, the government announced C$404,936 in funding for Bell Canada to improve mobile connectivity in the Atikamekw First Nation community of Wemotaci. This is one of many moves to help close the digital divide and improve connectivity in many First Nations communities.

September

In September, almost C$2 million was announced in combined federal and provincial funding for two projects by CityWest to bring high-speed internet access to 663 households on Keats Island and in New Brighton, British Columbia. 

October

The governments of Canada and Ontario, in partnership with Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) Inc, has completed construction of broadband infrastructure that will provide access to reliable high-speed internet service to 470 families, farms and businesses in Waterloo Region.

More than C$56 million in combined funding for three projects by Bell and Cogeco to bring high-speed internet access to over 16,000 households in rural communities across eastern Ontario was announced. The Bell projects are to be completed in 2025 and Cogeco’s project is set to be completed by March 2024.

Funding for communities in Newfoundland and Labrador was also announced. The project aims to bring high-speed internet access to 664 households in Wabush and Labrador City and is expected to be completed in May of next year.

November

In November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a C$475 million top-up to the UBF. The top-up aims to help connect an additional 60,000 rural homes across Canada.

To support the people of New Brunswick, the Prime Minister also announced up to C$17.6 million, on top of the previously announced C$55 million in federal funding, to provide high-speed internet access to a total of more than 27,000 homes in New Brunswick. 

On Nov. 10, combined federal and provincial funding of over C$2.6 million for Tsuut’ina Nation to bring high-speed internet access to over 300 households in the Indigenous community was announced. Tsuut’ina Nation has established and is operating its own internet service provider (ISP), Tsuut’ina Nation Telecommunications, to carry out the project and help maintain the network.

December

Most recently, in December, a C$31 million broadband fund was announced for Nova Scotia and $630,000 in broadband funding was announced for Simcoe County

The Government of Canada also detailed the progress it has made over the past year. On Dec. 15, it noted that since the launch of the UBF, 251 projects to provide affordable and reliable high-speed internet have been announced.

The release from the government added that, with a total of C$920 million in federal-provincial co-funding under Canada–Quebec Operation High Speed, Quebec has achieved the goal of offering high-speed internet access to all residents in the province. In addition, provinces such as Prince Edward Island, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, are also “very close” to achieving universal connectivity. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Samira Balsara
Samira Balsara
Samira is a writer for IT World Canada. She is currently pursuing a journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly known as Ryerson) and hopes to become a news anchor or write journalistic profiles. You can email her at [email protected]

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