Manitobans in rural and northern areas will have increased access to broadband and high-speed Internet as a result of the Manitoba Network Initiative, announced today by Innovation, Energy and Mines Minister Dave Chomiak.
“This initiative is going to give rural and northern communities improved access to a wide range of services and resources,” said Chomiak. “The network will especially benefit communities where distance and geography have made it difficult to share information.”
The Manitoba Network Initiative will provide enhanced network services to public-sector organizations including hospitals, clinics, schools, post-secondary institutions and government offices throughout the province.
The initiative will obtain services from private and public-service providers throughout the province including local community-based providers. MTS Allstream will provide service co-ordination, integrating services from other network providers. The network will create new opportunities for community-based Internet providers and their customers and help make the business of providing Internet access in smaller and more remote communities more viable, the minister said.
The provincial government and other public-sector partners will spend more than $10 million annually on Manitoba Network Initiative services.
The minister noted the initiative is part of Manitoba’s Broadband Strategy and reinforces government’s commitment to improve the quality of life for residents living in Manitoba’s rural and northern areas by increasing access to high-speed or broadband Internet.
“By improving the communications capabilities of our communities, we provide long-term benefits to them, improving the delivery of services and offering a foundation for exciting economic development opportunities for rural and northern communities,” said Chomiak.