Arcadis IBI Group Supports Canada Infrastructure Bank to Bring Indigenous-Owned Broadband Infrastructure to Alberta Indigenous and Rural Communities
– Arcadis IBI Group and Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) are supporting the implementation of high-speed internet to Indigenous and rural communities. –
Through the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative (ICII), Canada Infrastructure Bank is investing in community-based projects which provide a service and direct benefit to Indigenous communities to help close the infrastructure gap. ICII is a lending solution to accelerate Indigenous community infrastructure investments by providing low-cost and long-term loans to Indigenous projects. CIB has a target of investing at least $1 billion in partnership with and for the benefit of Indigenous communities across five priority sectors, including clean power, green infrastructure, public transit, broadband, and trade and transportation.
Reliable, affordable and accessible fibre-optic broadband has become a necessity and an equalizer that allows every Canadian to actively participate in the digital economy no matter where they live. Broadband infrastructure enables community access to social supports such as healthcare and education, increases digital inclusion for employment opportunities, improves quality of life, and weaves residents and businesses into the digital economy.
Arcadis IBI’s broadband team is providing technical expertise to CIB to support the multi-year telecommunication projects which shall connect underserved households in Indigenous and rural and remote communities. The team is supporting the review of various broadband programs including schedule, budget, materials, construction, implementation, and reporting on project execution and operational completion.
Due to the low population density and current lack of broadband infrastructure in these areas, the cost of connection per household is very high. The CIB’s financing rates allow broadband connectivity to expand in underserved communities at a quicker pace while also enabling companies to charge affordable rates to its Indigenous and rural customers.
“Our investment will support new broadband access that will address the digital divide, create new economic opportunities, and support public services like health and education while strengthening communities,” said Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank
The recently announced partnership by CIB will enable First Nations-owned businesses to improve their operations and enhance and expand services to 20 Indigenous and four rural communities in Alberta. This project’s financing from CIB compliments the awards the telecommunication contractor has received from the Government of Canada’s Universal Broadband Fund Rapid Response Stream, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s Broadband Fund and the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Connect to Innovate fund.
The telecommunication infrastructure underway will build a fibre optic backbone network and a series of ‘last-mile’ projects to connect underserved homes. The broadband service will offer speeds of 50-300 Mbps and unlimited data, enhancing telecommunications services for residents, businesses, and public service delivery.
“This project highlights Arcadis IBI’s awareness of programs supporting Indigenous communities and our engagement in opportunities that bring high-speed internet to places that are often overlooked due to high implementation costs,” said Sr. Practice Lead, Intelligent Systems, Keith Ponton.
In addition to broadband consultation, Arcadis IBI helps clients secure grants and funding, design and manage the installation of fibre optic networks, and is one of the first companies in the country to offer open-asset network management of fibre-optic systems, allowing rural and remote communities to access digital infrastructure that they require and deserve.
To learn more about Arcadis IBI’s broadband services, please visit our Woven webpage.
For more information and/or to connect with Arcadis IBI Group, please contact Rob Cioffi for more details.