Improved high-speed internet is coming to 10 remote Quebec communities

The $13 million investment is part of Canada's Connect to Innovate program

An image of the Quebec and Canada flags

Canada’s federal government is investing $13 million CAD to bring high-speed internet to 10 primarily remote and sparsely-populated communities in Quebec’s Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and La Mauricie regions.

The funding is being allocated thanks to the federal government’s Connect to Innovate program, which brings internet speeds of at least 5MB/s to underserved communities across the country.

Quebec-based Ambra Solutions has received the $13 million grant, and will work to improve internet connections from Shawinigan to Chambord.

“The two projects announced today will bring faster internet service to the communities of Lac-Édouard, La Bostonnais, Hervey-Jonction, Saint-Joseph-de-Mékinac, Lac-à-Beauce, Lac-Chat, Parent, Conseil des Atikamekw de Wemotaci, Lac-Bouchette and La Tuque,” said Francois-Philippe Champage, Canada’s minister of international trade, in an August 31st, 2017, media release.

“This investment will improve the reliability of our communities’ internet connection. And the new infrastructure will make it possible for mobile providers to offer wireless phone service using the latest LTE technology along Route 155.”

“This investment will improve the reliability of our communities’ internet connection.”

Quebec’s provincial government will provide matching funding through the Quebec branche program.

“Establishing a mobile network to cover all of Route 155 is essential to the safety of those who travel this roadway that connects the regions of La Mauricie and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean,” said Julie Boulet, Quebec’s minister of tourism, in the same release. “We are proud to support these projects, which represent a very important step toward that end and will improve the quality of life of people in our region.”

Canada’s Connect to Innovate program is a $500 million fund aimed at improving the country’s ‘backbone’ high-speed networks. These are networks specifically designated as “digital highways that move data in and out of communities.”

“Internet access is now an essential part of everyday life,” said Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED), in the same release. “The smallest businesses, no matter where they are located, can participate fully in the global marketplace and achieve global scale in a flash with faster Internet service. We can no longer consider high-speed Internet a luxury.”

This is the first project approved under the Connect to Innovate program. No firm timeline has been provided for when Ambra will deliver on the improved internet service.

Header image courtesy of Flickr user Nick Warner.