June 15, 2004
(Innovation, Trade and Rural Development)


Province to help fund broadband project in Exploits region

A non-profit economic development organization in Grand Falls-Windsor will receive funding from the provincial government to assist in the development of a high speed Internet service for the region. The Excite Corporation will receive approximately $50,000 from the Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development to complement funding the corporation is receiving from the federal government under the Broadband and Rural and Northern Development (BRAND) initiative.

"The EXCITE Corporation broadband project was one of five across Newfoundland and Labrador approved by the federal government," said Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. "I congratulate the EXCITE Corporation and its members on its successful application. By introducing broadband technologies they are bringing high-speed Internet services to twelve local communities."

The total cost of the Excite Corporation�s project is $2.1 million. Funding from federal sources will cover approximately 75 per cent of the project cost and the rest is being provided by the Aliant, the proponents and the provincial government.

"Telecommunications is at the core of the EXCITE Corporation�s economic development strategy and a high speed Internet service will bring great benefit both to local businesses and individuals in the area," said Ray Hunter, MHA for Windsor - Springdale.

The Broadband and Rural and Northern Development initiative is a $105 million project of Industry Canada to enable community-based broadband demonstration or pilot projects in communities that have no high-speed Internet access. The total costs for the five projects is estimated at $16.4 million. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is also a partner in this initiative. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador considers a broadband telecommunications infrastructure a key element in the province�s future economic and social development.

The EXCITE Corporation was set up by the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor in 2000 as a partnership with the Exploits Valley Economic Development Corporation to encourage information technology and economic development within the Exploits region.

Media contact: Lynn Evans, Communications, (709) 729-4570

2004 06 15                                        4:20 p.m.

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