Question Period Note: CANADA-BRITISH COLUMBIA BROADBAND PARTNERSHIP
- Reference number:
- Date received:
- Jan 4, 2023
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
- Name of Minister:
- Hutchings, Gudie (Hon.)
- Title of Minister:
- Minister of Rural Economic Development
What are the details of the Canada-British Columbia broadband partnership announced March 8, 2022?
• High-speed Internet access is essential for all Canadians. That is why the Government of Canada has made billions of dollars available for rural and remote Internet infrastructure – including $3.225 billion under the Universal Broadband Fund.
• The government is proud to collaborate with British Columbia to invest up to $830 million to provide high-speed Internet access to all underserved households in the province.
• The government is committed to providing access to 98% of Canadians by 2026. This can only be achieved through partnerships with other levels of government, the private sector, Indigenous groups, and other stakeholders.
• The Canada-British Columbia broadband partnership announced on March 8, 2022, will provide high-speed Internet access to approximately 115,000 households in British Columbia that do not currently have access to 50/10 Mbps Internet service. Projects selected under this agreement will begin to be announced shortly.
• The Government of Canada is working hard with all provinces and territories to ensure that projects are announced across the country in the coming months.
• To date, the Universal Broadband Fund has announced more than $2 billion in funding to provide access to more than 900,000 households and more announcements are coming soon.
The $3.225 billion Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) will help ensure that 98% of Canadians will have access to high-speed Internet by 2026, and 100% by 2030. The UBF includes a Rapid Response Stream for shovel-ready projects that can be completed quickly, $50 million for mobile projects that primarily benefit Indigenous peoples, and $750 million for large, high-impact projects.
In addition to British Columbia (BC), the Government of Canada has announced other federal-provincial broadband partnerships with Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
The Government of Canada’s funding of $415 million for the Canada – BC broadband partnership comes from the Universal Broadband Fund, and British Columbia funding of $415 million comes from the Connecting British Columbia program.
Under the Mobile Stream, the Government of Canada and British Columbia announced co-funding of $4.5 million total to provide complete mobile connectivity along BC’s Highway 16, also known as the “Highway of Tears”. The project was announced in April 2021 and is targeting completion in fall 2023.
This funding is included in the up to $415 million Government of Canada contribution to the Canada-BC broadband partnership.
Under the Rapid Response Stream (RRS) of the UBF, $20.5 million in UBF funding has been announced to cover over 7,000 households in BC with improved Internet access.
Across all Government of Canada broadband programs since 2015, over $524 million in funding has been announced for connectivity projects in BC.