Papineau Numérique welcomes the launch of the New $1.75 Billion Federal Plan for High-Speed Access in Rural Areas
Thanks to the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), the Papineau RCM and Internet Papineau, partners in the Papineau Numérique project, welcome the federal government’s commitment to increase access to high-speed Internet services to more than 98% of Canadian households by 2026 with great enthusiasm. This new program could make it possible to standardize coverage across the RCM, a significant gain for its residents.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgency of making high-speed Internet accessible everywhere, given that telework, online education and social activities will continue to be part of daily life. It is for this reason that the Government of Canada has increased funding for the UBF from the $1 billion announced in the 2019 Budget to $1.75 billion. This program also includes a $150 million fast-track realization component with an accelerated application process to allow for the immediate start of ready-to-go projects.
An Improved Phase 2 of the Papineau Numérique Project
The RCM of Papineau is taking advantage of the UBF announcement to prepare a new funding application for an enhanced Phase 2 of its Papineau Numérique project. Thanks to a new, much more detailed mapping tool, it is now possible to more accurately identify the currently underserved areas that are eligible. The new high-speed Internet deployment project that will be submitted to the government will serve to standardize service coverage across the municipalities within the territory.
The RCM and its partner Internet Papineau are working hard to bridge the digital divide that presently exists and ensure that as many households as possible in our rural municipalities are connected to reliable Internet service. This announcement is another step towards achieving this goal.
- The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is the third program announced by the federal government in the last five years after Connect to Innovate and the Broadband Fund, implemented respectively by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISDE) and the CRTC.
- The Papineau Numérique project that is presently being implemented, received financial assistance in 2019 from the Connect to Innovate Program in order to connect 3,153 homes to fibre optics.
- In April 2020, the RCM of Papineau filed an application with the CRTC’s Broadband Fund to finance Phase 2 of Papineau Numérique and connect an additional 3,034 homes.
- As part of the new Universal Broadband Fund, the RCM is preparing to file a more ambitious version of Papineau Numérique’s Phase 2 project to ensure uniform coverage throughout the territory.