Business New Brunswick / Intergovernmental Affairs / Wellness, Culture and Sport

Acadian Peninsula to have high-speed Internet access in time for World Acadian Congress (09/07/28)

NB 1053

July 28, 2009

CARAQUET (CNB) - Communities in the Acadian Peninsula will have high-speed Internet access through fixed wireless technology and satellite in time for the 2009 World Acadian Congress. Minister of Wellness, Culture and Sport Hédard Albert, who is also minister responsible for La Francophonie, made the announcement today.

New Brunswick Internet provider Barrett Xplore Inc. will provide Caraquet, Pokemouche, Lameque, and Pacquetville with Internet access that will offer visitors high-speed coverage during the Congress, complementing existing Aliant broadband access.

At the province's request, Barrett Xplore Inc. expedited building fixed wireless towers in the area to meet the region's high-speed Internet needs during the Congress, which takes place from Aug. 7 - 23.

"The fourth World Acadian Congress is an event that celebrates our Acadian heritage and culture, and highlights the northern part of our province," said Albert. "We are proud to offer fast, reliable Internet access to local companies and families in this area, and to our many visitors as they discover local websites or send photos back home."

On Feb. 3, the government announced plans to invest $13 million toward building the infrastructure needed to provide fixed wireless and satellite Internet coverage in rural New Brunswick. Under this agreement, all residents and businesses in the province will have access to high-speed service by July 2010. The investment is creating about 200 jobs.

"It is our goal to put New Brunswick on the path to self-sufficiency by providing every community with quality broadband coverage to help New Brunswickers compete in the global economy," said Business New Brunswick Minister Victor Boudreau. "We will be welcoming visitors from around the world next month, and are eager to demonstrate our province's leadership edge in telecommunications technology."

About 90 per cent of the province already has access to high-speed Internet, thanks in part to a $44.6-million federal-provincial infrastructure program created in 2003. Fixed wireless and satellite technology will extend Internet access to the remaining estimated 39,000 homes, mostly located in rural and low-density population areas.

More information about the 2009 World Acadian Congress may be found online.

09/07/28

MEDIA CONTACT: Deborah Nobes, communications, Business New Brunswick, 506-444-3323.

09/07/28