Niagara looking for millions to improve rural high-speed internet access

The Niagara Region is looking for funding to expand rural high-speed Internet access.

Council is pursuing up to $6.6 million in federal funding to improve Internet services.

Introduced late last year, the Government of Canada’s Connect To Innovate (CTI) program will invest up to $500 million to bring broadband Internet to 300 rural and remote communities across Canada.

The program has identified 33 eligible locations in Niagara as potential candidates for funding.

If successful, Niagara Region’s application will result in up to $10 million of direct infrastructure investment in Niagara by 2022, divided between the federal government, Niagara Region, and the Niagara Region Broadband Network (NRBN).

The Region expects the results of its funding application to be known by late 2017.?

Regional Chair Alan Caslin says improving access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet in rural Niagara is one of Council’s strategic priorities.

He says leveraging funding through the Connect to Innovate program will allow them to make a direct investment in concrete, Niagara-specific infrastructure projects in the next 5 years.