Kenney praises improvements to rural Alberta internet

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney stopped in Lacombe on Friday to extol the virtues of better internet connectivity in rural Alberta.

The premier was at an announcement by Shaw Communications. The company says it is Alberta’s first provincewide internet service provider to offer gigabit download speeds to 100 per cent of its residential customers.

Kenney said high-speed internet access is important to the province’s economic recovery and the growth of the innovation and tech sectors as well as being helpful for parents and students who work and learn from home.

“Rural Alberta has been hit hardest by the collapse in energy prices and if we want people to not only stay in smaller communities, but moved to them so that they grow in the future, they must have at least adequate internet service,” he said.

Shaw says it has spent more than $11 billion over the past seven years on its network and services.

Now more than 100 municipalities and First Nations across the province can get its fastest internet tier, Fibre+ Gig, the company said in a press release.

Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish said his department is working on its promised broadband strategy for Alberta, which will include leveraging federal funding opportunities and advocating for federal telecommunications policy reform.

“This approach will help to ensure every Albertan has access to an internet connection that meets or exceeds the minimum speeds set by the federal government,” he said at the announcement.

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