The federal and provincial governments of Canada and Quebec,in a partnership, have announced they will be investing a collective sum of$290M CAD into data infrastructure and other programs to facilitate high speed internet in the province of Quebec.
This is a partnership that has been active for many years but has only recently focused on the state of the internet in Quebec due to the government declaring high speed internet should be considered a necessity for quality of life in the nation as a whole. Quebec is one of the most afflicted provinces in Canada where a large number of citizens use dial-up connections or do not have access to the internet. With the large capital investment from this collaboration, the 360 rural towns in Quebec are guaranteed to receive high speed data connections over the next five years. This translates to at least 100,000 people benefiting from quality broadband speeds.
Collectively, around 96,000 households and over 10,000 businesses in Quebec will
receive high speed access to the web.
In a statement issued in November via a media release, thegovernment of Quebec announced it will be channeling $105M CAD into the project,while $98M CAD will be pooled from various donors and private companies in theregion. The remaining $87M CAD will come from the Canadian federal government.The funds from the government represent the largest investment in the internet overhaul project since the initiative was launched barely one year ago. Themoney will be issued to select telecommunication and ISP companies to further the government’s internet agenda. So far, Sogetel, Bell Canada and Maskicom are scheduled toreceive funds.
Mauricie will be the first region to be attended to in theprovince of Quebec. In this region, Maskicom will be in charge of the Maskinongé County, Sogetel theSaint-Barnabé municipality while Bell Canada will cater to the Le Petit-Villageand the Saint-Thomas-de-Caxton area. Theplan is to connect approximately 5,000 households with highs speed broadband beforeproceeding to other regions in Quebec.
Itis anticipated that the fast data speeds will create more investmentopportunities in Canada as a whole by motivating entrepreneurs and start-ups tomove to areas that previously did not have access to broadband. This was echoedby the mayor of Saint- Élie-de-Caxton– Robert Gauthier – who pointed out that many had deserted the area due to thelack of high speed internet. However, now with the internet initiatives
underway, more people will move to the region to work and live since they will
be able to enjoy high speed connections just like in the urban areas of Canada.
The mayor also added that the internet would be a significant boost to remote
workers as well as individuals who were self-employed.
Otherregions that the federal government has pledged to provide funding include the 25Nunavut communities, at least 5 Northern Ontario communities and 10 communitieslocated in rural Quebec. Other regions will derive the funding they requirefrom their respective provincial governments e.g. Nova Scotia.Advantages of High-Speed Broadband
Oneof the great advantages of wide-spread high-speed connectivity is the reduction
in prices of data plans and tariffs. Initially, to obtain high broadband speedsin remote regions a user was required to foot a high bill. With theimplementation of this initiative however, Internet Service Providers such as Acanac are lowering their prices with great margins and still making reasonableprofits due to the government funding and intervention. Similarly, othercompanies looking to expand to remote areas of Canada will be able to find itmuch easier than ever before due to the infrastructure that the top telecommunicationcompanies have set up with the funds received from the provincial and federalgovernments.
Onthe individual and business level, collaboration between parties not only in
Canada but in other parts of the world will be much faster and more effortless.The generous bandwidth allows for smooth teleconferencing sessions and thesharing of files unlike ever before. Symmetric connectivity is also set toimprove i.e. upload speeds will be at an all-time high allowing for big files to be uploaded to the web on a more frequent basis. Last but not least, the problem ofover-subscription (the slowing down of a network’s performance due to too many users) will become non-existent due to the provision of morededicated high speed connections. With a dedicated circuit, the number of usersin a particular network becomes irrelevant since a user’s data travels in itsown lane.