Rural Canada's voice in cabinet says feds looking at funding community ISPs

The minister in charge of a plan to help rural Canada thrive says she'll focus on expanding internet and cellphone coverage, even funding communities that want to be their own service providers.

Rural Economic Development Minister Bernadette Jordan is expected to unveil the strategy next month.

In an interview, Jordan says the top complaint she has heard on cross-country travels is the lack of high-speed internet in rural areas.

She says it that hurts businesses and efforts to woo and keep residents.

Jordan says federal money would be used to entice big telecommunications companies to invest in rural areas where populations are smaller and more spread out than in urban centres.

But she says officials are also working out how some of the money could go directly to communities that decide to start their own internet service providers instead of waiting for big companies to show up.