Peter Schiefke, MP for Vaudreuil-Soulanges, assures us that the government firmly believes that modern high-speed digital networks should be accessible to everyone, no matter where they live, work or play.
Schiefke does not hesitate to confirm that since 2015 the federal government has invested $ 6.2 billion to grow universal broadband. “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of high-speed internet in our daily lives. Across Vaudreuil-Soulanges, people, old and young alike, have turned to the Internet for their jobs, their studies and even their shopping. Recognizing the urgency of this issue, we have invested an additional funding of $ 1 billion over six years from 2021-2022 to the Universal Broadband Fund to support the acceleration of the deployment of broadband projects.”
Over the past 18 months, MP Schiefke’s office has received dozens of calls and emails related to the high-speed internet problem in Vaudreuil-Soulanges. “I have had frank discussions on the feedbacks and necessities related to this issue. We encouraged all citizens who were affected to send their feedback from Internet service providers to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. The latter is using this data to tackle the problem and target places that need help. In addition, I contacted several municipalities at the start of the pandemic to confer on Internet accessibility and the option of opening municipal libraries to provide connectivity service for free.”
MP Schiefke clarified that the strategy and the investments made by Ottawa are aimed not only at accelerating the creation of infrastructure and the speed of the Internet itself, but also at the concrete connection of Canadian residences and businesses to broadband networks.
“To be successful as quickly as possible, we are working with the provincial government as well as the suppliers in question. Since this issue is at the top of provincial and federal priorities, the governments of Canada and Quebec have established Canada-Quebec Operation High Speed. The latter aims to connect 150,000 Quebec households by September 2022, unless there are delays at the supplier level. This is in addition to connecting 66,000 homes covered by other programs from our two levels of government. Thus, in less than a year, there will be just 36,000 homes to be connected, which represents about 1% of homes in our province. It is impossible for me to say when a specific sector will be connected due to the many partners involved in this project.
However, I want to emphasize that we are all working to ensure that this most essential service is offered as soon as possible.”