Located in the heart of the St. Lawrence, Anticosti Island has long captivated tourists with its sprawling wilderness and rich history. Known as the jewel of Côte-Nord, the island has been proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Port-Menier is the only inhabited village on the island. It has 175 residents and hosts roughly 8,000 tourists every year—a number that is only expected to grow. Until recently, however, a lack of reliable high-speed Internet and cellular coverage often presented challenges for tourists, local businesses and residents alike, which stunted local economic growth.
As one representative from Tourisme Côte-Nord reported, “Lots of people were hesitant to travel to the North Shore. They didn't know if they'd be able to communicate with anyone if something went wrong.” This was the case for one tourist who couldn't call for help after getting three flat tires on the island's bumpy roads.
Without reliable connectivity, many local businesses could not keep their websites updated or functional, which limited their visibility and reduced their opportunities to market to tourists and local customers.
Connecting Port-Menier through the Universal Broadband Fund
In May 2021, the Government of Canada, in partnership with Internet service provider TELUS, announced a project that would connect the community of Port-Menier to high-speed Internet. This project was approved through the Universal Broadband Fund, which undertakes projects in underserved rural, remote, northern and Indigenous areas across Canada.
“Some people used to think that Anticosti Island was only a hunting and fishing destination. Connectivity has helped to debunk that myth. It’s made an inaccessible region into one that’s much more accessible.”
By September 2022, the community was successfully connected, and the benefits to local businesses were felt immediately.
The owner of the Gîte du Copaco, which has a wide range of local offerings for tourists—from car rentals and excursions to accommodations and cold-smoked fish and seafood—reported that “The quality of the Internet service helps us to stand out, especially with our customers. It lets us keep things running a lot more smoothly and offers better security.”
A representative from Tourisme Côte-Nord said that “some people used to think that Anticosti Island was only a hunting and fishing destination. Connectivity has helped to debunk that myth. It's allowed travellers to learn about the tourism options in the region so they can come here and discover our great outdoor spaces while staying connected to the rest of the world. It's made an inaccessible region into one that's much more accessible.”
High-speed Internet for all Canadians
It's easy to take high-speed Internet, and all the opportunities it brings, for granted. But for some Canadians, high-speed Internet is still out of reach. The Government of Canada's plan to connect all Canadians by 2030 is changing that, one community at a time. Check out the High-speed Internet for all Canadians web page to see our progress.