Reliable, high-speed internet will soon be everywhere across the MRC d’Argenteuil’s territory.

On July 21, the Québec and federal governments announced a joint investment of $12.6 million for the third and final phase of their high-speed fibre optic internet deployment project. Once completed, the large-scale project will ensure the entire population of the MRC d’Argenteuil has access.

The federal and Québec governments are each contributing 50 per cent of $6.3 million each.

“This will offer service to the total population of the MRC d’Argenteuil.” said Agnès Grondin, member of the Québec National Assembly for Argenteuil.

Argenteuil-La Petite Nation Member of Parliament Stéphane Lauzon described the collaboration between the federal and Québec governments as “a fabulous partnership.”

Lauzon said having the internet is as essential as having a telephone.

“The pandemic has reinforced this need,” he added.

MRC d’Argenteuil Prefect Scott Pearce said the effort to bring high-speed fibre optic internet to all of the region began 11 years ago.

Fibre Argenteuil President Benoit St-Jacques welcomed the announcement with enthusiasm.

“This is a very, very big announcement,” St-Jacques commented. “Our objective is very clear today.”

Following on the high-speed Internet installations already underway in the region, the third phase of the project is specifically dedicated to connecting an additional 1,955 residences. This will include all of Grenville-sur-la-Rouge, and sizeable portions of Harrington, St-André-d’Argenteuil, Wentworth, and Gore.

The total cost of the final phase is estimated at $14,525,750. The difference not covered by the $12.6 million in federal and provincial funding will be covered by the MRC d’Argenteuil and Fibre Argenteuil Inc, which is the MRC’s own fibre optic utility and local internet service provider.

When completed, the entire Fibre Argenteuil network will connect up to nearly 8,000 homes.

The governments of Québec and Canada will have provided a total of $26 million in funding by the time the entire project is complete. The approximate cost of the entire effort to bring high speed internet to all of Argenteuil is $34.6 million.

As part of its business strategy, the MRC d’Argenteuil created Fibre Argenteuil as a non-profit organization in 2018, with the responsibility for the management and maintenance of the network, operations, and customer service. All Fibre Argenteuil profits are re-invested into the operations of the organization.