The federal government’s Canada Infrastructure Bank and DIF Capital Partners have signed an agreement in principle to spend $130 million each to increase rural broadband connectivity through the Southern Manitoba Fibre project.
The federal fund announced the project in a Friday release and said up to 49,000 underserved households will be connected with dedicated fibre-to-the-home in rural areas of Manitoba.
The project involves 2,550 kilometres of fibreoptic cabling, including last-mile infrastructure with underground fibre cables and networking equipment. Valley Fiber Limited will be responsible for the necessary construction, installation, operations, and maintenance of the new broadband service, according to the release
“I am excited the CIB is making its first investment in broadband and first investment in Manitoba. Our $130 million investment will help Manitobans receive broadband service and create new economic opportunities, support public services like health and education and strengthen rural communities. There is a tremendous opportunity to expand broadband networks and the CIB looks forward to making many more investments which benefit Canadian,” Canada Infrastructure bank CEO Ehren Cory said in a statement.
The service is supposed to offer speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. Construction is expected to create up to 400 jobs, plus an additional 50 permanent jobs within Valley Fiber. Once the three groups close on the deal this spring, construction is expected to start with an anticipated completion date in 2024.
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