Premier devotes $150 million to overcome digital poverty in rural Alberta

Premier devotes $150 million to overcome digital poverty in rural Alberta

By Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

On Thursday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced the province would be investing $150 million to help connect rural Albertans to better Internet services.

He said he hopes the money will inspire the federal government and the private sector to bring the total investment up to $1 billion.

“We want to ensure that all Albertans in every region of our province benefit from the promise and potential of the digital economy,” Kenney said.

“Our goal is to put together but a billion-dollar package between us, the feds, and private-sector telecommunications companies. This is the initial investment that will we hope will get the ball rolling on that.”

Right now some 80 per cent of Indigenous communities don’t have access to reliable Internet in the province, and roughly 67 per cent of rural communities can’t get a stable connection.

“This just is no longer acceptable,” Kenney said.

Roughly 12 per cent of Alberta families across the province, or around 200,000 households, lack the basic speeds the federal government has said are required for adequate Internet service.

This item is reprinted with permission from the St. Albert, AB, St. Albert Gazette. For the complete article, click HERE

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