Wahnapitae First Nation residents will soon have high-speed internet access funded through the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF).

Blue Sky Net, part of the Blue Sky Economic Growth Corporation, last week announced that it has received CA$269,000 from the UBF’s rapid response stream to bring high-speed internet to the Wahnapitae First Nation community on the northwest shore of Wanapitei Lake, Sudbury. Once completed, the project will bring high-speed internet access to 74 households, including 68 indigenous households.

The federal government announced the CA$1.75 billion Universal Broadband Fund in November 2020 to help connect underserved and indigenous communities. Out of the whole, CA$150 million has been provisioned for a Rapid Response Stream for projects that can be completed by November 15, 2021. The government aims to connect 98 per cent of Canadians to high-speed internet by 2026 and 100 per cent by 2030.

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“High-speed internet service is key to the success of residents in rural regions of Ontario,” said Maryam Monsef, Minister for women and gender equality and rural economic development. “It will help create jobs, increase health and safety, and ensure a stronger economic recovery for rural Ontarians. It is one of many projects our government is undertaking to ensure that every Canadian has access to the high-speed internet they need.”

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) initially targeted a broadband speed of 5Mbps download and 1Mbps upload in 2011. As network demands increased, the CRTC revised that target to 50Mbps download and 10Mbps upload in 2016.

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