AB Government: Expanding access to broadband funding
Sep 20, 2022
The Alberta Broadband Fund (ABF) will expand access to financial support for rural broadband to ensure that no community is left behind.
Alberta’s government is committed to eliminating the digital divide and ensuring that all Albertans have access to reliable, high-speed internet. The ABF is a made-in-Alberta solution that will complement the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) to help the province reach its goal of 100 per cent connectivity by 2026-27 by providing a funding pathway for broadband projects that did not apply to or qualify for the UBF.
“I have heard from many community leaders who are excited by Alberta’s $390-million commitment to rural broadband and the matching $390 million from the federal government. But I know that many communities were unable to apply to the Universal Broadband Fund in time. That is why I am launching the Alberta Broadband Fund to ensure that no community is left behind. The ABF will help connect even more Albertans, families and businesses to reliable, high-speed internet.”
Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta
Alberta’s government is allocating $36 million to the ABF, which will begin accepting applications from communities and service providers later this fall.
The ABF is part of Alberta’s Broadband Strategy, a historic $390-million commitment over four years to improve access to high-speed internet in rural, remote and Indigenous communities.
“Developing high-speed, reliable and affordable rural internet requires public investment. RMA is grateful for the Alberta Broadband Fund and we are excited to see the impact this will have on municipalities where the business case may not exist to rely on the private sector alone for rural internet development. Made in Alberta works.”
Paul McLauchlin, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta
“This announcement is good news for several Alberta communities that, despite having difficulties with internet connectivity, felt worried about being left out of the UBF. The Alberta Broadband Fund opens an additional path to full connectivity for those communities, which will help our province succeed in our increasingly digital world.”
Cathy Heron, president, Alberta Municipalities
- Data analyzed during development of the Alberta Broadband Strategy estimated that:
- About 489,000 Albertans living in 201,000 households lack access to federal target speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) downloads and 10 Mbps uploads.
- About 80 per cent of Indigenous communities and 67 per cent of rural and remote communities do not have access to reliable, high-speed internet.
- None of the eight Metis Settlements located in Alberta can access federal target speeds.