Government offers broadband boosting incentive

Internet Service Providers who serve rural communities could be in line for a helping hand from the government.

Internet Service Providers who serve rural communities could be in line for a helping hand from the government under a scheme announced last week.

MP John Duncan invited ISPs to apply for funding under the Connecting Canadian program, which aims to provide access and increased speeds to an additional 280,000 homes in rural and remote regions of the country, including the North Island. Successful applicants could receive up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs from Connecting Canadians. For projects serving very remote or Aboriginal communities, the program could fund up to 75 per cent of eligible costs.

“The call for applications under Connecting Canadians is great news for rural and remote communities in British Columbia including Vancouver Island North,” said Duncan. “I encourage you to contact internet service providers that offer services in and around the areas identified on these new broadband maps to express your interest in high-speed Internet.”

The maps of eligible coverage areas, in addition to an application toolkit for ISPs, can be found by following links on the Industry Canada website, www.ic.gc.ca.

Successful ISPs will be expected to provide services at speeds of at least 5 megabits per second (Mbps) to Canadians in rural areas of the country that currently have slower access, and 3 to 5 Mbps in the satellite-dependent communities served under the northern component of the program.

The first projects are expected to be announced in spring 2015.