This week we announced the launch of the enhanced and expanded Universal Broadband Fund (UBF). The UBF will help improve high-speed Internet access and mobile connectivity across Canada. That includes underserved communities here in [RIDING]. Originally designed as a $1 billion program, the Government has increased funding for UBF to $1.75 billion, recognizing the need to act swiftly to connect all Canadians.
The enhanced UBF also recognizes the need for urgency. Connectivity can’t wait and we will not allow government bureaucracy to stand in the way. That’s why the program now includes the Rapid Response Stream, an accelerated application process that will allow shovel-ready projects to get started right away. The application period is now open and community partners are encouraged to apply for funding.
Our government is also committing $600 million to secure low-earth-orbit satellite capacity through Telesat, in order to provide high-speed internet to the most rural and remote parts of Canada.
Today’s announcement builds on our government’s strong record of delivery for rural Canada. Since 2015, we have approved funding for over 17,000 infrastructure projects in communities of under 100,000 in population. Of these, almost 90 percent have been investments in communities with a population of less than 30,000 people. More than 6,100 kilometers of highways and roads, and 103 bridges have been built, repaired or upgraded in rural communities, and Canadians in more than 1,279 rural communities have access to cleaner, more sustainable sources of drinking water. To address homelessness and the need for affordable housing 1,375 projects have been approved, delivering more than $393 million to rural communities across the country.
The link above will lead those interested to a page with more information about the program(s) and how to apply.