Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development
January 29, 2015

Supporting Communities Through Enhanced and Expanded Broadband Access

Broadband Service and Improvements Extended to Over 800 Households

Over $565,000 is being invested in broadband access as part of the Provincial Government's commitment to providing leading-edge telecommunications services and infrastructure. Broadband coverage will be extended to an additional 232 households, with improved service extended to 570 households in 12 rural Newfoundland and Labrador communities. An additional $407,800 has been leveraged from other partners and work will be completed by Bell Aliant and SmartLabrador.

"Improved Internet service makes a significant difference to the prosperity of our entire province. Recognizing the value of high-speed access in today's fast-paced social and economic environment, the Provincial Government has taken a dedicated approach to improving the province's communications capacity. This investment of $565,400 is being provided to complete the work necessary to connect these communities and I am very proud that through the Rural Broadband Initiative, the Provincial Government has now expanded broadband access to 98 per cent of the province's population."
- The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

Rural broadband expansion provides innovative opportunities that encourage economic development across the province. Strategic investments ensure that broadband infrastructure is reaching rural Newfoundland and Labrador and providing necessary access. Bell Aliant is contributing $377,800 to the third phase of the Rural Broadband Initiative, $177,800 of which will be used to make high-speed Internet access available in Great Brehat, St. Carols and St. Anthony Bight on the Great Northern Peninsula and Buchans Junction. In addition, enhanced Internet speed will be provided for Labrador Straits which will improve existing service in five communities from L'Anse-au-Claire to Pinware. St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. is providing $30,000 to ensure access to communities on the Northern Peninsula.

"St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. is a regionally-based non-profit group that supports and advocates for economic expansion and improved employment opportunities that are in harmony with a rural setting and lifestyle for the 16 communities we represent in the St. Anthony region. Through our $30,000 in support, St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. is pleased to be part of ensuring that broadband coverage is extended to St. Carols, St. Anthony Bight and Great Brehat."
- Sam Elliott, Executive Director, St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc.

Broadband infrastructure will also be expanded from Pinware to Red Bay in southern Labrador through a $200,000 investment by Bell Alliant to SmartLabrador, which will implement the project in the region. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2013, the addition of new broadband infrastructure into the Red Bay region will have a positive impact on tourism, which is a key economic driver in southern Labrador.

"Today's announcement is important for residents of southern Labrador who have growing needs for the Internet and have embraced online services as a key part of their lives. With increasing demands for Internet services in all sectors, faster, more reliable broadband services are imperative to local development and to the local business community, if they are to compete globally. Faster broadband services will help to foster local business innovation and will encourage the development of new online services and applications. We look forward to how this initiative will help respond to the needs and the demands of local businesses, community and government services."
- Sheila Downer, Executive Director, SmartLabrador

Enhanced broadband service in Southern Labrador will greatly improve telecommunications reliability, and enable tourism operators and other businesses to use improved technology and e-commerce services to grow and compete more effectively. Work continues with industry, community, and government partners to further improve broadband infrastructure. Since 2003, Provincial Government investments totalling $34 million have leveraged more than $121 million from other sources to improve broadband access in Newfoundland and Labrador, for a total of over $155 million.


  • As part of the third phase of the Rural Broadband Initiative, the Provincial Government will invest $565,400 to improve and extend broadband service to 12 Newfoundland and Labrador communities, encompassing 802 households.
  • Bell Aliant is providing $377,800 in support of enhanced and expanded broadband service.
  • Anthony Basin Resources Inc. is providing $30,000 to ensure access to St. Carols, St. Anthony Bight and Great Brehat.
  • SmartLabrador, a non-profit organization established to help build information technology capacity in Labrador will facilitate expansion in the Red Bay region.
  • The Rural Broadband Initiative was launched in 2011 to provide incentive to telecommunications carriers to expand broadband access into unserved and underserved rural and remote areas of Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Media contacts:

Tansy Mundon
Director of Communications
Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 693-1865

Sheila Downer
Executive Director

Sam Elliott
Executive Director, St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc.

2015 01 29                              4:00 p.m.