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Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
January 26, 2011

Minister Sullivan Highlights the Benefits of the Trans-Gulf Fibre Optic Network

The Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, today responded to the Audit General’s report regarding broadband within the Provincial Government.

“While the Office of the Auditor General has provided a broad analysis of the Provincial Government’s Broadband Initiative and investment in Newfoundland and Labrador’s second trans-gulf fibre optic network, it has underestimated the benefits experienced in three short years,” said Minister Sullivan. “It was a good investment in 2007 and continues to be today. It has brought true competition to the province’s telecommunications industry, played a pivotal role in increasing broadband connectivity, and provided Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with greater access to services.”

Minister Sullivan today highlighted the many benefits derived from the Provincial Government’s investment in the trans-gulf fibre optic network, which include:

“These are very real and tangible benefits that were derived directly from our investment,” said Minister Sullivan. “They also represent a clear path for the Provincial Government’s vision of advancing its strategy to improve the province’s communications capacity.”

“The Provincial Government is taking a prudent approach to meeting our objectives,” said Minister Sullivan. “If the opportunities present themselves through partnerships with the private sector that enable us to meet our objectives and reduce costs, we will closely consider and evaluate them. We always have to respect the fiscal environment.”

The Provincial Government’s actions to improve the province’s communications capacity have been completed under the framework of a heavily-regulated industry sector where the Federal Government is Canada’s only legislative body that can mandate a communications carrier or carriers to deliver residential and commercial high speed Internet access.

“Great strides have been made in recent years to improve Newfoundland and Labrador’s communications capacity,” said Minister Sullivan. “We look forward to sustaining that momentum through collaboration with industry and to deriving maximum benefits from our investments.”

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Media contact:
Scott Barfoot
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 690-6290

2011 01 26             2:15 p.m.

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