Industry Canada fuels broadband initiative

Approximately 156 of Canada’s First Nations communities are getting set to receive a cash infusion as a first step towards bringing high-speed Internet to their areas.

Industry Minister Allan Rock announced Friday that these communities will each receive up to $30,000 to develop business plans to outline how to bring broadband to these locations.

The funds for this initiative came from the $105 million allocated for the Broadband for Rural and Northern Development Pilot Program, announced by Rock and Secretary of State Andy Mitchell in September 2002.

The goal of this project is to bring broadband service to all Canadian communities by 2005.

The deadline for submission of these business plans by First Nations communities is May 22, 2003. However, communities that missed out on the first round of this pilot project are being encouraged by Rock to apply for funding for the project’s second round. The due date for proposals is Mar. 28, 2003.

The 156 communities were selected from a list of about 222 based on recommendations from a National Selection Committee.

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