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Wahnapitae First Nation residents getting high-speed internet

Federal funding will help expand connectivity in community northeast of Sudbury
internet 2016
(Stock photo)

More residents in Wahnapitae First Nation will soon have access to high-speed internet, thanks to a new project being rolled out by Blue Sky Net and Spectrum Group, with funding from the federal government.

Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré announced on Jan. 21 the government is providing $269,000 through its Universal Broadband Fund to help connect 74 underserved households, including 68 Indigenous households, on the northwest shore of Wanapitei Lake, which is northeast of Sudbury.

Wahnapitae First Nation Chief Larry Roque described high-speed internet access as “the cornerstone of modern success for any community,” noting Wahnapitae has been working toward this goal from some time.

"We deeply appreciate this funding, as this fibre project will have a significant impact on our community members' quality of life while providing them with much greater access to a broad range of transformative opportunities,” Roque said in a news release.

“We're truly excited to see this move forward, and our profound thanks go out to MP Marc G. Serré, his staff, as well as Blue Sky Economic Growth Corporation and Spectrum Group for their work to make this initiative a reality."

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Launched last November, the $1.75-billion Universal Broadband Fund is making up to $150 million available for shovel-ready projects that can be completed by Nov. 15, 2021.

The Wahnapitae First Nation project was approved within two months of the formal launch of the program.

The federal government is aiming to connect all Canadians with download speeds of at least 50 megabits per second and upload speeds of at least 10 megabits per second.

Its target is to have all Canadians connected to high-speed internet by 2030.