Since the election, I have spoken with many of you about the need for better access to Broadband in many communities throughout Long Range Mountains. Improved broadband access would help support our small businesses by providing a level playing field. It is also essential for students, healthcare and safety throughout the riding.
That’s why I was pleased to join Minister Bains for the launch of the federal government’s new Connect to Innovate broadband access program. Through this program, the federal government will invest $500 million over the next five years with the goal of bringing broadband internet access to 300 rural and remote communities across Canada.
After having the opportunity to review the program details and the online map of eligible areas, I am very pleased that many communities throughout the Long Range Mountains will be eligible to apply to the program for funding under the application criteria.
The application period will begin on January 16, 2017 and they will be accepting applications until March 13, 2017. To learn about if your community might be eligible to apply for funding, you can go to the interactive map by clicking the photo below.
For communities, businesses and groups throughout the riding who will be interested in applying for funding, please read the below information about the application criteria and process. It will be very important for local businesses to collaborate with municipalities, institutions, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the province as you plan potential applications for the program.
Many of you have reached out to me about the program details in the last few days. I want to clarify that individuals are not able to apply for this federal funding. The program is open to businesses, Canadian non-profits, provincial, territorial or municipalities, First Nations band council, ISPs, or combinations of the above.
To ensure the program actually helps those in the communities who are currently underserved by existing broadband infrastructure, in order to receive funding, a project must be open to third parties for dedicated capacity purchases or a wholesale or retail basis.
The most important factor to be considered is whether one of the partners in the has experience building, owning and operating a broadband network. The applications must demonstrate that at least one partner within the group has the experience or capability to own and operate broadband infrastructure and networks.
The program can fund up to 75% of project costs. It can also be combined with some existing federal funding programs to assist applicants with covering the costs of the project.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be reaching out to mayors and town councils to share more details. However, below is a detailed copy of the application criteria and process. Any interested parties should download this application guide and review the details.
For additional information about the program, the eligibility criteria, and the application process, please contact Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED):
Telephone: 1-800-328-6189. E-mail: email@example.com