Internet access is more than just a convenience: communities, businesses and institutions need it to find information, offer services and create opportunities. That’s why the Government of Canada is helping three St. Joseph Island communities and one institution in Ontario get online with new or improved high-speed Internet access.
David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, together with Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, announced an investment of $2.74 million in high-speed Internet on Friday at the Hilton Beach Community Hall.
This investment will help St. Joseph Island residents in Beech Beach, Hilton Beach, and Sailors Encampment. These communities connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age. In addition to the $2.74 million invested today under the Connect to Innovate program, Bell Canada is contributing $912,000.
To date, the Government of Canada has invested $63.78 million to bring high-speed Internet to Ontario’s rural and remote communities under Connect to Innovate.
New backbone capacity should provide users with access to speeds well above five Megabits per second (Mbps). We expect communities with new backbone will see a transformative change in the speeds and services they can access. For last-mile projects, eligible areas are those that do not have access to five Mbps and expect most applications to provide sustainable and scalable proposals well beyond that.
Terry Sheehan MP for SSM says, “I am pleased that the federal government is investing in this very important project for this area. The growth of high-speed Internet is a digital revolution that makes communication instantaneous and clear. Individuals, families, institutions, businesses, communities and governments all benefit.”
The Government of Canada’s $500-million Connect to Innovate program is investing in building the digital backbone of high-speed Internet networks. Backbone networks are the digital highways that move data in and out of communities. These highways carry large amounts of data that are essential for schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to function in a digital world.
Connect to Innovate is one of several Government of Canada measures to improve telecommunications services for Canadians. Others are a $100-million investment to improve coverage and connectivity in rural areas with low-earth-orbit satellites; Connecting Families, an initiative that will provide many low-income Canadians with low-cost Internet and up to 50,000 computers to eligible households through the Computer for Schools program; a five-year plan for wireless spectrum release to promote competition and help drive down prices for Canadians and to deliver better quality and coverage; and consultations to prepare Canada for 5G, the next generation of high-quality wireless systems that will enable e-health, connected cars and smart cities.