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Bell, Videotron, Cogeco expanding rural Quebec high speed networks with government support

26 May 2020

Bell Canada has been awarded regional government funding for expanding high speed fibre internet connections in 18 rural communities in Quebec covering 7,000 homes, businesses and other organisations, in partnership with the Quebec Ministry of Economy & Innovation’s Connected Regions programme.

Rival operator Videotron announced that it will connect nearly 9,000 homes and businesses in four Quebecois areas (Charlevoix, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Memphremagog and Monteregie [Roussillon and Rouville]) to a ‘fully fibre-optic-based new-generation network’ under the Connected Regions programme, in close cooperation with the Regional County Municipalities (RCNs).

Similarly, Cogeco Connexion confirmed that it has been chosen for eleven infrastructure projects to connect more than 15,500 homes in 15 RCNs across Quebec as part of the Connected Regions programme to accelerate access to high speed internet in the partially served communities.

The Quebec government has selected a total of 66 projects – covering over 60,000 rural households – under the Connected Regions programme following a tender announced in October 2019, stipulating rollout of high speed (at least 50Mbps/10Mbps down/upload) rural broadband internet services, with unlimited data packages available at comparable prices to urban areas. The selected projects are located in eleven regions of Quebec, namely Bas-Saint-Laurent, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Capitale-Nationale, Mauricie, Estrie, Outaouais, Chaudiere-Appalaches, Lanaudiere, Laurentides, Monteregie and Center-du-Quebec. The government contribution for the projects is estimated at CAD150 million (USD107 million), with deployments expected to be completed by summer 2022.

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