PROVINCIAL — There may be some hope for communities without broadband access.
To encourage Internet service providers to expand their services to communities currently without broadband access the Provincial Government has issued a call for proposals under its Rural Broadband Initiative.
Through the implementation of the Rural Broadband Initiative, the Provincial Government is providing an incentive for carriers to deliver access where the business case is not strong enough for them to make investments by themselves.
“Today’s call for proposals further represents a long-standing commitment that this administration has made to improving broadband access, as well as the overarching telecommunications sector, in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Innovation, Business and Rural Development Minister Keith Hutchings. “It is through this process that we can outline our working relationship with our commercial partners – within a federally-regulated sector – to make it more attractive for them to deliver more advanced services to residents who are currently without access.”
In 2011, the Provincial Government provided $7 million to Internet service providers to address capacity issues in Labrador and create broadband access in communities in the Northern Peninsula, western, central, southern, and eastern regions of the province. These investments brought the Provincial Government’s total commitment to improving broadband access to more than $27 million while levering in excess of $115 million from other sources.
“By working with industry we have been able to increase the number of communities with broadband access by 312 per cent since 2003,” said Minister Hutchings. “Approximately 85 per cent of the island has access while in Labrador that number has grown to more than 95 per cent, we are looking to build on this progress and identify opportunities where we can continue to make advancements in broadband and the telecommunications sector as a whole.”
Internet service providers seeking more information and/or terms and conditions should contact Hayward Keats at 709-729-0677 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The call for proposals is also available online at www.gov.nl.ca/ibrd. The deadline for submissions is Friday, Nov. 2 at 5 p.m.