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Alberta and Canada partner to expand broadband connectivity 

A dollar-for-dollar matching agreement will help expand broadband access across the province


January 3, 2022
By Government of Alberta

To expand broadband capacity in rural, remote and Indigenous communities, the federal government announced that they will be matching Alberta’s $150 million investment.

The Canada-Alberta Broadband Partnership agreement sets the framework for collaboration between the two governments to select and move forward projects from the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF), a federal program that supports high-speed Internet projects in rural and remote areas across the country.

Over the last several months, both governments have been reviewing Alberta applications for UBF funding and expect to begin announcing specific projects early in the new year. Albertans can look forward to having shovels in the ground in the 2022 construction season.

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To completely bridge the digital divide, it is estimated that $1 billion of public and private funds will be required. The governments of Alberta and Canada have agreed in the memorandum of understanding that if more joint funding becomes available, the existing agreement would be updated to reflect that commitment of additional support.

“Broadband connectivity creates opportunity for our children and our communities. It enables rural economic development, increases access to health care, creates smart farms, improves education, enables information sharing to address crime, promotes rural living, and enables us to be world leaders in a range of industries,” says Paul McLauchlin, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta.

Currently, there are about 201,000 households in Alberta without access to high-speed internet.

In 2016, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) declared broadband a basic telecommunications service and set targets to connect every Canadian home and business to minimum network speeds by 2030: 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads, 10 Mbps for uploads.

In November 2020, the Government of Canada launched the UBF, now worth $2.75 billion. This fund will help support high-speed internet projects across the country


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