Connect to Innovate – Funding Program for High Speed Internet Now Accepting Applications

January 16, 2017

The Connecting Canadians initiative is being continued through the most recent funding allocation of $500 Million. These funds are available through the “Connect to Innovate” program. The application period closes on April 20, 2017. CLICK HERE TO APPLY.

If you have specific questions about applying for funding or about an application, contact Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada directly at ic.cti-bpi.ic@canada.ca or call 1-800-328-6189.

Local Internet Service providers (ISPs) and areas eligible for new backbone infrastructure are marked on an INTERACTIVE MAP. If you are not near one of the marked areas but still don’t have satisfactory high-speed internet, definitely consider working with your ISP to improve high-speed access. Types of eligible projects are listed below.

The program supports projects that are expected to be substantially completed by March 31, 2021. There are five different eligible backbone and last-mile project types, but a variety of possible combinations, including a hybrid of both backbone and last-mile infrastructure projects. However, at least one of the following categories described below of backbone and last-mile infrastructure projects are required:

New backbone: Program funding will be primarily directed to communities identified by Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada as lacking a backbone connection of 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) or more, as identified on the Eligibility Map.

Backbone upgrade: Communities which have at least a 1 Gbps backbone connection and are not identified on the Eligibility Map will be considered eligible for upgrades if the applicant can clearly demonstrate a capacity constraint.

Network resiliency: Network resiliency projects are projects where a new fibre backbone route is deployed to provide an alternate data path, increasing network reliability and resiliency for all users.

New last-mile: Projects proposing to connect households or businesses that lack service at speeds of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload are eligible in completely underserved areas. Innovation Science and Economic Development has identified these areas on the Eligibility Map.

Partially served last-mile: Areas not identified by coloured hexagons on the Eligibility Map are considered partially or completely served at speeds of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. Projects proposing to connect households or businesses that remain underserved in these areas are eligible if the applicant can clearly demonstrate these households or businesses do not have access to speeds of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload.

The Connecting Canadians Branch is there to help answer general questions. They can be reached as follows:

By phone: 1-800-328-6189
By email: ic.cti-bpi.ic@canada.ca
By mail:

Connecting Canadians Branch
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street, 1 st floor, West Tower
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H5
Canada

At any time, if you feel you aren’t getting the help you need, do not hesitate to contact my office.

Other Links:

Application Toolkit
Frequently Ask Questions
Eligibility