The federal government is providing $160 million to provide better internet and mobile connectivity to the north.

On Monday, in La Ronge, Rural Economic Development Minister Gudie Hutchings announced a the funding for projects to boost internet and connectivity in northern communities.

“High-speed Internet is no longer a luxury,” saud Minister Hutchings. “The federal funding committed today will bring reliable high-speed Internet to up to 13,700 underserved homes in communities across Saskatchewan and provide mobile connectivity along 500 km of roads.”

Up to $105 million of the funding will be allocated for Sasktel projects that will benefit up to 5,700 homes across West Central and Northern Saskatchewan. The government says the majority of these homes are Indigenous.

“Access to reliable high-speed Internet service empowers people in urban, rural and northern communities by offering vital connections to education, health care, economic opportunities, and family and friends,” said Jim Lemaigre, MLA for the Athabasca constituency. “The Government of Saskatchewan is committed to ensuring that every corner of our province has access to the tools and technologies needed to thrive in the digital age.”

The funding is being provided through the Universal Broadband Fund, which is designed to ensure Canadians in rural, remote and Indigenous communities have access to reliable high-speed internet and mobile connectivity.

The federal government has a goal to have every Canadian have access to high-speed internet by 2030, something the government says they are on track for.