TROIS-RIVIÈRES, Qc – Promised for years, high speed internet could be available in all regions of Quebec by September 2022.
At least, this is the ambitious promise made by the Canadian and Quebec prime ministers, Justin Trudeau and François Legault, on Monday in Trois-Rivières.
Ottawa and Quebec have announced an investment of more than $ 825 million to connect nearly 150,000 homes that are not served in all regions of the province.
This promise is made with the support of the major suppliers, in this case the Internet (ISP) Videotron, Cogeco, Bell, Xplornet, Sogetel and TELUS, who participated in the announcement of the launch of “Operation high speed Canada-Quebec” .
The pandemic and the home dismissals of workers and students across Quebec have shed a powerful light on the communicational inequalities of Quebecers.
The program announced on Monday includes deadlines with penalties and a guarantee of 100% coverage of regions lacking this infrastructure, so that the two governments have confidence that the objectives will be met.
If this project materializes as presented, Quebec will have the highest connectivity rate in Canada, ie 99%.
The missing 1% represents some 36,000 households located in locations that are said to be particularly difficult to access and in very sparsely populated areas. However, it is specified that “technological solutions are currently being studied and the strategy adopted to reach these homes by 2022 will be announced later”.
It is the Outaouais region that is by far the most affected by the lack of high speed internet, with more than 29,000 households without it. The Laurentides (16,500), Montérégie (15,700), Lanaudière (13,700), Abitibi-Témiscamingue (13,400) and Estrie (12,300) regions follow. All regions have homes that do not have access to high speed, except those of Montreal, Laval and Nord-du-Québec.
The Canadian Press