Budget 2022 increases investment into rural broadband for a total of $390 million over four years. This investment supports the implementation of the Alberta Broadband Strategy, a plan to ensure that every family, household, business and community in Alberta can access reliable, high-speed internet. Reaching universal connectivity will help all Albertans participate in the economic recovery and realize their fullest potential. The Alberta Broadband Strategy supports the Alberta government’s efforts to protect livelihoods and makes life better for hard-working Albertans.
“Improving access to high-speed broadband will help the province move forward toward a technology and innovation-focused future where every Albertan can participate in and benefit from Alberta’s recovery and economic diversification. It’s the next step for Alberta.”
“This historic $390-million broadband investment will help close the digital divide and enable all Albertans to participate in our economic recovery. From education to health care and from agriculture to small business, connectivity will help Albertans interact with the global marketplace, innovate for local solutions and help diversify our economy.”
“Alberta’s government is increasing its budget and investing $390 million into expanding rural broadband access to support economic diversification and level the playing field with urban centres by providing the digital infrastructure required to ensure entrepreneurs in every region of our province remain competitive.”
“Albertans living in rural areas need access to reliable internet to further their businesses and interact online. The Alberta Broadband Strategy will help fund rural internet projects to connect communities and help them succeed during Alberta’s economic recovery.”
“Alberta’s Broadband Strategy and investment will bring high-speed internet to rural communities, closing the digital divide. Not only is this great news for our economy, it’s great news for Alberta’s future.”
Protecting lives and livelihoods
Alberta’s Broadband Strategy aims to connect every home and business to high-speed internet by the end of the 2026-27 fiscal year.
The strategy supports economic recovery and diversification by creating jobs for hard-working Albertans, connecting businesses with the global marketplace and providing access to education, upgrading and re-skilling resources.
Universal access to high-speed internet will bring a number of economic and social benefits to Alberta’s underserved communities, from improving access to telehealth services to attracting private sector investment.
“Rural Alberta needs access to high-speed internet to enable communities and residents to continue to support local economies and connect for needed services. The release and implementation of the Alberta Broadband Strategy, as well as increased investments into broadband in this budget, is a crucial step in making reliable rural internet a reality.”
“The Alberta Broadband Strategy outlines how the provincial government intends to deliver reliable, high-speed internet in rural, remote and Indigenous communities. This strategy has long been a priority for Alberta Municipalities and its 275-plus member communities, from the smallest summer village to the largest city.”
“This is a policy long advocated for by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce. Our geographically diverse federation of 116 chambers and their members know the constraints of operating a business with suboptimal internet speeds. Internet speed isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity for all businesses. As such, we appreciate the Government of Alberta bringing forward this strategy.”
This strategy is a key part of Alberta's Recovery Plan to build, diversify and create good jobs for Albertans in every corner of the province.
- Approximately three years after achieving universal coverage and adoption of services, it is expected:
- annual GDP will rise between $500 million and $1.7 billion
- the agricultural sector’s GDP will grow up to five per cent, resulting from adoption of AgTech
- up to 2,000 long-term service industry jobs may be created in rural communities
- up to 40,000 Albertans without access to a primary health-care provider may have improved access to telehealth, and the cost to deliver those services will be reduced
- more than 120,000 students will have improved access to remote education
- Alberta’s Broadband Strategy is expected to generate up to 1,500 jobs during infrastructure deployment.
- Alberta’s total broadband funding commitment is now $390 million over four years.
- This commitment includes the province’s previous $150 million investment from 2021.
- The federal government has committed to match $150 million, and Alberta’s government continues to work to secure a matching agreement for an additional $240 million.
- Approximately 489,000 Albertans living in 201,000 households lack access to federal target speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads.
- Approximately 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 Alberta’s Metis Settlements can access federal target speeds.