TORONTO – The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), Valley Fiber Limited (Valley Fiber) and DIF Capital Partners (DIF) have signed an agreement in principle to invest a total of CAD $260 million to increase broadband through the Southern Manitoba Fibre project.
Broadband service is critical to Canadians’ daily lives. It is essential for our quality of life, for everyone who owns small businesses, goes to school and wants to stay connected to family and friends.
The Southern Manitoba Fibre project involves 2,550 kilometres of fibreoptic cabling, connecting up to 49,000 underserved households with dedicated fibre-to-the-home in rural municipalities.
Under the terms of the agreement, the CIB will invest CAD $130 million and DIF will contribute CAD $130 million. Valley Fiber will be responsible for all aspects of construction, installation, operations and maintenance of the new broadband service.
The project will also include last-mile infrastructure with underground fibre cables and networking equipment. The service will offer broadband speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, enhancing telecommunications services for residents, businesses and public service delivery.
During the construction phase, up to 400 jobs will be created with an additional 50 permanent jobs within Valley Fiber. DIF completed a majority investment in Valley Fiber in April 2020 and actively works together with the company to further build out its fibre network.
This is the CIB’s first investment in broadband, first project in Manitoba and another example of the CIB quickly implementing its $10B Growth Plan by investing in new infrastructure.
The CIB, Valley Fiber and DIF expect to reach financial close this spring with construction commencing immediately thereafter. The project is expected to be completed in 2024.
I am excited the CIB is making its first investment in broadband and first investment in Manitoba. Our $130 million investment will help Manitobans receive broadband service and create new economic opportunities, support public services like health and education and strengthen rural communities. There is a tremendous opportunity to expand broadband networks and the CIB looks forward to making many more investments which benefit Canadians.
I am honored to be working with such with an amazing team who shares our passion on bringing broadband to rural communities through dedicated active ethernet. Together, we are not only leveling the economic playing field but also bringing essential services to underserviced Canadians in Manitoba.
Rolling out fibre broadband to remote locations in Canada will improve many facets of people’s everyday life. DIF is excited to partner with the CIB and Valley Fiber on this transformational project. It will provide critical broadband access to many Canadians living in underserviced regions and enable rural communities in Manitoba to participate in the digitalization of the global economy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how important reliable, affordable high-speed internet is for Canadians. The Canada Infrastructure Bank’s partnership with Valley Fiber and DIF Capital Partners will bring high-speed broadband to up to 49,000 homes in Southern Manitoba by 2024 and create up to 450 jobs, benefitting the local economy and building more inclusive communities. This is part of our government’s plan to ensure all Canadians have access to quality, high-speed internet services.
Access to high-speed Internet is a critical part of our daily lives. As we have witnessed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Internet access has kept people connected, working, learning, and socializing remotely. But in communities with limited or no broadband access, this has been difficult. With its first investment in Manitoba, the Canadian Infrastructure Bank is demonstrating the importance of broadband projects in creating economic opportunity for individuals and businesses, and in helping people stay connected.
- The project connects up to 49,000 underserved households with dedicated fibre-to-the-home in rural municipalities.
- The CIB is mandated to invest CAD $35 billion and attract private sector investment into new revenue-generating infrastructure projects that are in the public interest and support Canadian economic growth.
- The investment commitment is subject to final due diligence and approval by the CIB’s Board.