Federal, Quebec governments to spend $826 million to develop high-speed web

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For the second week in a row, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared a stage with Premier Francois Legault Monday as they made a joint funding announcement aimed toward bettering entry to high-speed web in Quebec. 

Earlier than final week, Trudeau instructed reporters, it had been practically a 12 months for the reason that two leaders met in particular person. Just lately, Legault has been on the forefront of a name by provincial and territorial premiers for extra well being care funding, which he stated should come with out situations.

However as they introduced $826.3 million in funding to deliver high-speed web to almost 150,000 Quebec households by September 2022, Trudeau hailed Quebec’s management and Legault praised Ottawa’s “flexibility.” 

Requested if the pleasant phrases had been an indication of improved relations between the 2, Legault responded: “I hope so.” 

Trudeau stated that regardless of “long traditions in various parts of the country around standing up for your region by picking a fight with Ottawa,” there’s additionally loads of frequent floor. “One of the things we’ve seen through this pandemic is citizens want their various orders of government to work together,” he added.

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Each leaders stated quick web has turn out to be extra essential than ever.

“High-speed internet is becoming a basic utility, like water, or electricity. People need to have access to data,” Trudeau stated. 

The brand new funding — with half coming from every stage of presidency — can be used to subsidize telecommunications corporations. These corporations can be required to attach all households in particular areas to high-speed web by fall 2022 and to cost these residents the identical charges Quebecers pay in large cities.

Sept, 2022 goal

Requested in regards to the resolution to present tons of of thousands and thousands of {dollars} to already worthwhile telecom corporations, Legault stated the federal government is compensating them for the upper price of connecting houses in much less densely populated rural areas. 

“It’s normal,” he stated. “We can’t force a business to offer a service at a loss.” 

Montreal-based Videotron and Cogeco will every obtain greater than $200 million in subsidies and can be anticipated to attach greater than 35,000 households every to high-speed web. Bell will obtain $161.5 million and can be anticipated to attach practically 31,000 households. Different massive contributors embrace Xplornet, Sogetel and Telus. 

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Legault stated that there are 36,000 households within the province that do not have entry to high-speed web and aren’t a part of an settlement to attach them.

He stated he stays hopeful these households can be linked by September 2022. Trudeau stated Ottawa’s purpose is to attach all Canadians to high-speed web by 2030.

This story was produced with the monetary help of the Fb and Canadian Press Information Fellowship, which isn’t concerned within the editorial course of.