LACHUTE, QC, July 22, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - The governments of Canada and Quebec are announcing a joint investment of $12.6 million to support the deployment of high-speed Internet to 1,950 additional households in the Argenteuil RCM by September 2022. The project, with a total cost of $14 million, will be carried out by the Argenteuil RCM and Fibre Argenteuil and will provide coverage to all of the RCM's residents.
The announcement was made yesterday by Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Argenteuil–La Petite-Nation, and Agnès Grondin, Member of the National Assembly for Argenteuil. This joint investment comes under Phase II of Canada–Quebec Operation High Speed, which was announced on the morning of July 21 and includes $94 million in combined government funding, contributed equally, for 13 new community-led projects. Phase II projects complement those announced last March as part of Operation High Speed's first phase.
Co-operating with telecommunications companies and organizations, adding a deadline with penalties to new contracts and providing coverage for all homes in the region where projects are being undertaken will ensure quick and effective deployment.
"People in the Argenteuil RCM, as in other regions of Quebec, absolutely need reliable connectivity. The COVID-19 crisis has shown the importance of having access to digital broadband services. By investing in these high-speed Internet service projects in the region, we're helping bridge the digital divide, stimulate economic growth and create jobs."
– Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Seniors and Member of Parliament for Argenteuil–La Petite-Nation
"This major announcement is cause for celebration. Residents of the Argenteuil RCM will finally be able to access the reliable and affordable high-speed Internet that has become such an essential service. We knew it already, but the pandemic confirmed that access to this service is critical to our communities' vitality, our regions' economic development and our security. I commend the commitment and leadership of the Argenteuil RCM on this important issue. It lived up to its commitment by creating Fibre Argenteuil, a non-profit organization whose mission is Internet connectivity for all. I also thank my colleague Gilles Bélanger, Parliamentary Assistant to the Premier (high-speed Internet), who was able to stay the course to fulfil our government's commitment to connect all of Quebec by September 2022, notably by working with communities to find winning solutions."
– Agnès Grondin, Member of the National Assembly for Argenteuil
Canada–Quebec Operation High Speed will give Quebec the highest connectivity rate in Canada, at more than 99%.
The Government of Canada has allocated billions of dollars to Internet infrastructure in rural and remote regions, including $2.75 billion as part of the Universal Broadband Fund, of which $1 billion comes from Budget 2021.
To date, the Government of Quebec has invested more than $1 billion to accelerate high-speed Internet connectivity for all Quebecers by fall 2022.
Phase II of Operation High Speed provides for an investment of $94 million to support deployment projects by the Coopérative de solidarité du Suroît (CSUR), the Table d'action en communication et technologies de l'information de la MRC de Coaticook (TACTIC), First Nations Wireless, Développement Innovations Haut-Richelieu (IHR Télécom), Xplornet, Bell, Cooptel and the Association pour la télédistribution et radio La Minerve, as well as those of the Antoine-Labelle, Argenteuil, D'Autray, Matawinie and Montcalm RCMs.
The 18,200 households that will be connected under Phase II are in addition to the 150,000 households covered in the March 2021 announcement and the approximately 66,000 households already covered under other government programs.
To reach the goal of optimal connectivity in all the regions by 2022, approximately 18,200 households, for which no projects are planned, will still need to be connected. These households are in areas that are particularly difficult to reach and sparsely populated. Technological solutions are currently being considered, and the strategy chosen to reach these households by 2022 will be announced at a later date.
SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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