Mar
13
2020

High speed Internet coming for rural Islanders

Thousands of Islanders living in rural Prince Edward Island will soon benefit from having access to faster, more stable Internet service. 

The Province has signed federal-provincial agreements with Bell Canada and Xplornet, as well as a funding arrangement with local Internet provider Air Tech Communications Inc. through the PEI Broadband Fund. 

“Government knows how crucial it is for Islanders to have stable, high speed Internet to access job and education opportunities, grow businesses, connect with public services and for overall quality of life. I want to thank Islanders for their patience as we develop this unique “Made for PEI” plan to enhance Internet and improve the lives of the people in our province.”

- Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Matthew MacKay

“Our government understands how important it is to connect rural communities on the Island and across the country to high speed Internet, and we have a plan to connect all of Canada by 2030. Since 2017, we’ve invested to connect over 900 communities already,” said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs. “Through partnerships with the province, municipalities and service providers, we will continue to create jobs and a higher quality of life for Islanders, and rural Canadians from coast to coast to coast.”

In March 2019, the federal and provincial governments committed to investing over $36 million towards the Bell Canada and Xplornet projects. 

“Bell is pleased to partner with the Government of Prince Edward Island to enhance broadband connections for Islanders in rural communities,” said Glen LeBlanc, Bell’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice Chair, Atlantic. “As the leading builder of Canada’s communications infrastructure, including here in Prince Edward Island, Bell recognizes that investment in broadband Internet is an investment in the economic potential of entire communities.”

“We are very proud to be serving residents of Prince Edward Island today and are looking forward to expanding our fibre-based services, enabling us to serve more homes with faster speeds, and unlimited data plans, in the months ahead,” said Xplornet president and CEO Allison Lenehan. “We thank the Province of Prince Edward Island for the opportunity to work together on this exciting project that will deliver amazing broadband to rural Islanders.”

The PEI Broadband Fund provides financial assistance to Island communities, business and Internet Service Providers. Air Tech Communications Inc. is the first local ISP to receive support from the fund.

“Air Tech Communications Inc. is pleased to have the support of the Government of Prince Edward Island through the PEI Broadband Fund to assist in increasing its capacity in the Richmond / Grand River, and surrounding areas,” said Air Tech Communications Inc. owner Kent England. “This is a preliminary step towards expanding service levels using both enhanced wireless and fibre infrastructure in this area to help us meet the growing needs of our customers now and in the future.”

Another new recipient of the PEI Broadband Fund is Eastern Fabricators Inc. They are the first Island business to receive support from the fund.

“We are very happy about the funding support from the PEI Broadband Fund and the increased level of capacity it will provide to our day to day business operations given that we’ve grown substantially over the last few years,” said Eastern Fabricators Inc. business development manager Chris Chaisson. “We can now continue to grow and provide our customers with the level of service experience required to meet their business needs.”

Islanders can visit Internet Plan to learn more and view approved projects of the PEI Broadband Fund.

Media contact:
Hillary MacDonald
Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
902-394-6368
hpsmacdonald@gov.pe.ca 


Backgrounder 

Island communities, businesses and Internet Service Providers can apply for up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for a project approved through the PEI Broadband Fund.

For more information for communities, visit: Broadband Fund for Communities.

For more information for businesses, visit: Broadband Fund for Businesses.

For more information for Internet Service Providers, visit: Broadband Fund for Internet Service Providers 

General Inquiries

Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
3rd Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-5540
Fax: 902-894-0342

DeptEGTC@gov.pe.ca