Cable organizers are thrilled to be awarded a $500-million, seven-year, $2-million cable program to support their work in the community.
The Grand Lake Cable Collective and other cable organizations received $5.5-million in the first round of grants announced Wednesday from the Alberta Government’s Alberta Innovates to Prosperity Fund, the province’s top business development program.
“We’re incredibly proud to serve as a recipient of this award,” said Rob Broughton, CEO of the Grand Lake cable group.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the cable industry to help make Alberta a better place for our customers.”
The Grand Lakes Cable Collective is an eight-member group of cable organizers based in the Calgary area who are part of the Coalition of Alberta Cable Organizations.
The organization is a joint venture of Cable Canada, Cable Alliance Alberta, the Alberta Cable Union, and the Canadian Cable Association.
The first round received $1.9-million and was awarded by the province on Jan. 10, 2020.
It was then divided among the cable organizers for three years to be spent in Calgary, Edmonton, and Lethbridge.
The second round received another $1-million for three more years.
That money was split among the three groups.
The third round received an additional $3-million from the government to continue funding the cable organizations and the communities they serve.
The $500 million will go toward building a new cable infrastructure for the city of Calgary, to be built by Cable Canada.
The program will also provide funding for the next three years for Cable Alliance to expand the community of Grande Prairie, an area of Grande Valley, which has a population of nearly 10,000 people.
“Grand Prairie is a growing community, and as a result, the local cable organizations need additional support to keep our cable network working,” said Cable Canada executive director and Grande Prairie cable director Brian Smith.
“With a $5-billion capital investment, Grande Prairie will be the first Alberta city to build a cable network of its own.”
In 2017, Grande Valley and the other Alberta cable communities received a combined $1 billion in government and private funding.
“The Grandlake Cable Collective will be a strong partner to the Grande Prairie Cable Coalition in the next five years,” Smith said.
The funding will help the Grand Lakes cable organizers expand the Grande Valley cable network into Calgary and the surrounding areas.
“This award will provide a substantial additional contribution to Grande Prairie’s ongoing development as a cable hub,” Smith added.
“Our goal is to serve Grande Prairie with more than two gigabits of fibre, and we are excited to partner with the Grandlake cable group to make this a reality.”
In addition to Grande Valley in Alberta, Cable Canada has agreements in the Greater Golden Valley and Alberta cities of Calgary and Edmonton to connect cable to their communities.