There were numerous reactions following the announcement by Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Legault on the Opération haute-vitesse program, which aims to connect all of Quebec to high speed Internet by September 2022.
In the Outaouais, the Minister of Families and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region, Mathieu Lacombe, as well as the MP for Pontiac and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, William Amos have confirmed that in the region, the operation will allow more than 29,000 homes to be connected to high-speed Internet by September 2022. For the Outaouais region, $ 147.4 million will be invested in order to ’’ speed up the connection of all households to infrastructures worthy of the name.
"This is great news for our region. The investments announced are unprecedented and it shows how the deployment of high-speed Internet services in the regions is a priority for the Government of Quebec. It is clearly a service that has become essential, not only to ensure the economic development of the regions, but also to support the vitality of our communities. In a time of a pandemic, the needs are more pressing than ever and I am proud of our government’s progress, ”says the Minister of Families, Minister responsible for the Outaouais region and MNA for Papineau, Mathieu Lacombe.
The federal and provincial governments have mentioned that in the context of the pandemic where access to a quality Internet service has become essential, it was imperative to accelerate the deployment of this service as much as possible and, to do so, to get out of the usual framework.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that it has never been more important to connect all Quebecers to high speed Internet. This is why our government is investing to connect homes and businesses in the Outaouais by fall 2022. With this historic announcement and thanks to our good collaboration with the government of Quebec, we are increasing the potential for economic growth and contributing to improve the quality of life of Quebeckers living in rural communities ”, underlines the federal deputy for Pontiac and parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, William Amos.
“Working in collaboration with Internet service providers, adding a deadline with penalties to new contracts and covering 100% of households located in the region where the project is taking place are elements that ensure that projects will be carried out quickly this time, ”believes Mathieu Lacombe.
There have been many reactions from Internet providers,
“We salute the courage of the Government of Quebec and its political will to accelerate access to high speed Internet for thousands of Quebecers currently underserved in their region. Videotron, Quebec’s most admired telecommunications company for 15 years, is ready to take on this daunting challenge. We intend to continue our commitment to offer high quality technology and products, with our Helix platform, the best customer service and competitive prices. The success of this ambitious plan depends on the collaboration of all stakeholders, and you can count on Videotron’s know-how and willingness to achieve it, ”commented the President and CEO of Quebecor, Pierre Karl. Peladeau.
“Our know-how in deploying high-speed Internet and our commitment to continue to serve the regions, together with governments’ decision to accelerate investments in connectivity, will help to bridge the digital divide that exists between large cities and regions. Connectivity is essential to ensure digital inclusion in our society and is a powerful engine for the economic and social development of our communities. We salute the governments’ vision and the collaboration between the levels of government that will make this major strategic project a success for Quebec. And we are very proud to contribute to it, ”said Philippe Jetté, President and CEO, Cogeco inc. and Cogeco Communications inc.
It should be remembered that Operation High Speed is a joint initiative of the governments of Canada and Quebec to ensure the connection of 150,000 homes, in particular through unprecedented agreements with six of the largest telecommunications companies (Videotron, Cogeco, Bell, Xplornet, Sogetel and TELUS). In this context, the entire Pontiac should be connected by September 2022, according to government deadlines. Operation High Speed will allow Quebec to post the highest connectivity rate in Canada, with a score of 99%.
CHIP interviewed William Amos on this subject, which is available here.