Big Lakes County among 4 rural communities to benefit from faster Internet

SPN Staff

Big Lakes County is among four rural communities in Alberta that will be getting grant money to improve Internet.

Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, announced Aug. 9 funding of $2.37 million for Arrow Technology Group and $1.26 million for GPNetworks to bring new or improved high-speed Internet access and capacity to four communities in rural Alberta.

One includes Big Lakes County.

In addition to the Government of Canada investment, Arrow Technology Group is contributing $899,000 and GPNetworks is contributing $466,000, bringing the total investment to $5 million.

The additional high-speed Internet projects in Alberta are possible thanks to the top-up to the Connect to Innovate program announced in Budget 2019. As a result of this funding, residents of Sunchild First Nation at O’Chiese, Big Lakes County, Elmworth and Grovedale, will be able to connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age.

Connect to Innovate is investing in building the digital backbone of high-speed Internet networks. Backbone networks are the digital highways that move data in and out of communities. These highways carry large amounts of data that are essential for schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to function in a digital world.

The companies receiving federal funding are: Arrow Technology Group LP Limited — just over $2.37 million to provide the communities of Sunchild First Nation at O’Chiese and Big Lakes County with access to high-speed Internet services, and GPNetworks — just over $1.26 million to improve high-speed Internet service for the communities of Elmworth and Grovedale.

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