a small hut in rural Quebec, potentially in the Haute-Côte-Nord region

Videotron to bring high-speed internet to Haute-Côte-Nord RCM

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The government of Quebec recently announced its $4.47 million plan to provide high-speed internet access to La Haute-Côte-Nord Regional County Municipality by September 2022. The plan is part of a recent effort by the federal and provincial governments known as Operation High Speed. If their goal is met, over 300 households in the region will have access to state-of-the-art internet. Specifically, households from the municipalities of Tadoussac, Sacré-Coeur Les Escoumins and Les Bergeronnes will gain newfound access. You may currently be asking yourself: Why is the government spending so much money on this region? Fortunately, this article will briefly explain everything you need to know about Quebec’s plan to upgrade Haute-Côte-Nord’s internet access.

Operation High Speed

As mentioned previously, the government’s plan for Haute-Côte-Nord stems from a larger province-wide plan called Operation High Speed. This initiative aims to provide various rural regions in Quebec with rapid internet infrastructure. Collectively, both governments are spending around $825 million on Operation High Speed. Their proposal targets the entirety of Quebec, with the hope of province-wide high-speed internet access over the next couple of years. From smaller regions like Haute-Cote-Nord and Fjord-du-Saguenary, to much larger areas like Bas-Saint-Laurent, Operation High Speed will serve the entire province. Depending on the region, the governments are recruiting different internet service providers to help them install the necessary infrastructure. For Haute-Côte-Nord, Videotron will be providing their services. They will spend the next several months scoping out the region, before installing their infrastructure.

The reason behind the operation is quite simple. Over the past year and a half, countless Quebec residents realized that adequate internet access is a necessity, not a luxury. As the COVID-19 lockdown forced us indoors, a fast WiFi connection became highly imperative. Working from home, schooling from home, and even keeping in touch with loved ones became very difficult without a stable connection. Thus, as the world (hopefully) moves past this dark chapter, the government wants to ensure that nothing like this can happen again. Even if another devastating event plagues the world, 100% of Quebec residents will be suitably prepared to connect with the world from the comfort of their own homes.

Comparison: Haute-Côte-Nord versus Montreal

To further illustrate the need to bring high-speed internet to Haute-Côte-Nord, we can use Planhub’s internet searching tool. This service requires you to answer a few basic questions about your internet usage. Once everything’s filled out, you simply input your postal code. After a few seconds, a list of the most valuable internet plans in your area appears, allowing you to scroll through them and find one that’s right for you. After inputting the same information with different postal codes, dozens of results appeared. At first, they seemed rather similar. However, after increasing the demand for more internet speed, the divide became more apparent. For the address in Montreal, Bell offered a 500mbps unlimited plan for $70 a month. On the other hand, no plans within this range were available in Haute-Côte-Nord.

While this discrepancy may seem insignificant, it is actually quite important. If you live in a large house with several devices, you may require a bulky download speed like 500mbps. Further, if you have an office or company, you may want to invest in such a plan. Montreal residents have the option to purchase such extensive plans if they need it. On the other hand, those in Haute-Côte-Nord RCM don’t even have the choice. If they live in a big household, or want to start a small tech company, they must simply settle for a less powerful internet plan. Thankfully, the governments of Quebec and Canada are working hard to remedy this.

Conclusion

The fact that both governments are collectively investing hundreds of millions of dollars into Operation High Speed is a great sign. It shows that the higher-ups acknowledge the importance of high-speed internet technology. Further, it shows that they care enough to provide the entire province with access to it. After the difficult year we all experienced, we hope that Operation High Speed manages to bring us a little bit closer.

 

 

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