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NL Short Takes

News | 11/06/2000 5:00 am EST

Setting the record straight
This is how urban legends get started. Despite a published report in the Oct. 17 Globe and Mail, it appears that Ottawa has not committed to spend $1 billion to bring broadband to every Canadian community. Network Letter spoke with the reporter who wrote the story, Heather Scoffield, who acknowledged that the $1 billion number was erroneous. The press secretary for former Industry minister John Manley confirmed the number didn’t come from the minister’s office. But since appearing in the Globe, it has been perpetuated by several people both in industry and various levels of government.
The Liberals likely will make a sizeable funding commitment to this latest broadband initiative, but how much it will be won’t be decided until after the National Broadband Task Force presents its report to the government on March 31, 2001.

Alberta’s minister of Innovation and Science says, if anything, $1 billion wouldn’t be enough to wire every community with broadband. "If it’s costing $300 million in Alberta for nine per cent of the population, how in the world are you going to do Canada for a billion dollars?" asks Lorne Taylor.

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