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Manitoba signs agreement to provide broadband to hundreds of communities


The Manitoba government has signed a contribution agreement with Xplornet Communications Inc. to provide broadband services to nearly 30 First Nations and more than 350 rural and northern communities.

Central Services Minister Reg Helwer made the announcement on Tuesday in Grande Pointe, saying that the province recognizes the benefits of ensuring Manitobans are connected.

“The historic partnership will connect Manitoba to the world, giving unserved and underserved communities reliable telecommunication services,” Helwer said.

“Over 125,000 rural, remote and northern Manitoba homes will have new or improved modern broadband services and further future technologies for the next generations.”

Helwer’s announcement comes after a memorandum of understanding was established with Xplornet in May to connect about 125,000 unserved or underserved Manitobans in 350 communities through broadband.

The province and Xplornet have now finalized the agreement, as well as the supporting documents, to begin the process of building the network.

“Whether logging onto work, school or to connect with family, we’re eager to make those connections for rural Manitobans,” said Bill Macdonald, Xplornet’s executive vice president.

“The province of Manitoba is a key focus for us. We’re not only building a world-class network here, we’re also establishing a presence in the community.”

As part of the construction process, Xplornet will work with businesses, local governments, and First Nations.

Macdonald said the next step in the rural broadband expansion is community consultations with First Nations to ensure residents have their needs heard.

Chief Clarence Easter of Chemawawin Cree Nation said this project is a good example of how progress can only be achieved by building relationships.

“I want to thank all those that are in this relationship with us,” he said. Top Stories

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