Connect to Innovate

The Honorable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), has recently announced the new federal broadband infrastructure program:

 C O N N E C T    T O   I N N O V A T E 

The government will invest up to $500 million by 2021 to support new and upgraded backbone and last-mile infrastructure projects in unserved/underserved rural and remote communities across Canada. This program will primarily support new backbone infrastructure to underserved communities to connect institutions such as schools, hospitals, libraries and First Nation Band offices as well as enabling improvements to residential and business services. In addition, a portion of the funding will consider upgrades to the backbone and the last-mile infrastructure, that serve households and businesses with services that are and less than 5 Megabits per second (Mbps).

Through the interactive map, you can investigate an area of interest for what is eligible for backbone or last-mile infrastructure.



The ‘Connect to Innovate’ initiative has a website where there are additional details on eligibility criteria and materials to guide you.  The site also provides an  Eligibility map, identifying the areas that may be eligible through an interactive map, and a non-interactive text search to search by township name.  A useful FAQ has also been published.

NEOnet has been requested by ISED to play a coordinating role in order to arrange a consolidated application process for the funds needed in our region.

We hope that you, our partners and other ISPs can come together and consolidate our individual opportunities into one funding request. This could give northern Ontario a better opportunity to access these funds.

The applications are open between

  •  Monday, January 16th, 2017
  •  Monday, March 13th, 2017
  •  Deadline for submissions has been extended to Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Connected to Innovate program is an important new tool that will hopefully help meet the needs of the unserved/underserved rural and remote communities in the Nation. We encourage our partners and stakeholders across Northern Ontario to consider this funding opportunity, reach out to us for more information, and to share this within your networks.