New changes to PEI Broadband Fund
The PEI Broadband Fund has added two new funding streams to help Islanders access improved Internet service.
The two new funding streams are:
- Accelerated Internet Service Provider Pilot – funding for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to upgrade or expand their networks to reach more Island residents
- Residential Pilot – funding for Island residents to purchase equipment that will provide connections to wireless broadband services
“Over the last year since we launched the PEI Broadband Fund, we have worked closely with local Internet Service Providers and heard from Islanders across the province on how we can improve the fund. Now more than ever before, access to high-speed internet is critical for Islanders, and we are committed to doing everything we can to provide better Internet for Islanders.”
- Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Minister Matthew MacKay
The Accelerated Internet Service Provider Pilot will provide grants up to 90 per cent with a maximum of $150,000 per project. A call for applications is now open and will be accepted until September 8th. Projects will be subject to a completion date of December 31, 2020. ISPs can apply for funding by visiting Prince Edward Island Broadband Fund.
Islanders eligible for the Residential Pilot will receive up to 100 per cent funding with a maximum of $5,000 per household. Eligible connection equipment costs include antennas, tripods, towers, and hydro poles. One project per household will be approved. Applications are now open and residents can apply for funding by visiting Prince Edward Island Broadband Fund.
Four new recipients have received funding from the PEI Broadband Fund, they are:
- Island Telecom Services Inc.
- Granville Ridge Consulting
- H6 PEI Investments
- BCD Automation
“We operate our vacation rental business from our home in Stanley Bridge. Our main contact with clients and guests is via email. Our marketing, accounting and banking are all online. We have struggled with our old internet connection for years,” said Clifton Harding of H6 PEI Investments. “The PEI Broadband Fund has helped offset the cost of our new internet project - making it more feasible for us in a down year. We are happy to be achieving 140-180 mb speeds now and can operate with no internet issues.”
Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
The PEI Broadband Fund launched in September 2019. The program provides financial support to communities, businesses, and internet service providers for the installation of infrastructure for enhanced broadband services.
In April 2020, the business stream was expanded to include solutions to enable teleworking to address the impact of shut-downs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.