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Trudeau targets ’98 per cent of Canadians’ as high-speed internet fund nearly doubles to $1.75 billion

The federal government will invest $1.75 billion to boost high-speed internet connections, with a goal of connecting 98 per cent of Canadians and more remote communities to high-speed internet by 2026 and all Canadians by 2030, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday.

The funding announcement of $750 million for the Universal Broadband Fund comes in addition to the $1 billion already announced in Budget 2019.

That fund is aimed at supporting broadband infrastructure projects that will bring high-speed internet at 50/10 megabits per second (50 Mbps download, 10 Mbps upload) to rural and remote communities, and includes a $50 million allocation for mobile internet projects that primarily benefit Indigenous communities.

The $1.75 billion investment in internet connectivity is the largest one-time investment in broadband since 2015, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday. Pixabay image

It will help move forward projects with partners like the Canada Infrastructure Bank, to connect households and businesses in underserved communities over the next six years.

Trudeau also announced an agreement of $600 million with satellite company Telesat to improve connectivity and expand high-speed internet coverage to the North, rural, and remote regions across Canada, through low-earth-orbit satellite capacity.

The funding package includes a $150 million Rapid Response Stream with an accelerated application process to allow “shovel-ready” projects to get started right away.

The announcement marks the largest one-time federal investment in broadband. The federal government said it has invested $6.2 billion in making broadband access more widely available since 2005.