The province is one step closer to ensuring nearly every Albertan has access to high-speed Internet.

The government initiative helps eligible residents in rural and remote areas in the province connect to high-speed Internet with the help of satellite technology and waived installation-distance costs.

The province announced Thursday that up to 4,600 additional homes in rural-central Alberta now have access to high-speed Internet, as part of the government’s plan to provide high-speed Internet access to at least 98 per cent of Albertans.

“Affordable and reliable Internet access is essential for promoting rural economic development and maintaining our competitive advantage, and this government is delivering it,” Premier Alison Redford said in a news release.

“We are bridging the digital gap between urban and rural Alberta by ensuring Albertans have access to high-speed Internet regardless of where they live in the province.”

The initiative is the second phase of the Final Mile Rural Connectivity Initiative, which is a strategy announced last January as a way to close Internet service gaps in rural and remote areas.

“We are leveling the playing field for Albertans in remote, low density areas who may have no other options for high-speed service and we are very close to achieving the target set by Premier Redford and ensuring that 98 per cent of Albertans have access to high-speed Internet,” Service Minister Manmeet Bhullar said in a news release.

Central Alberta homeowners can call 1-888-777-4010 or go to to check their eligibility for the new high-speed Internet satellite service program.

The five-year initiative costs up to $900,000 to implement.

The province says it is looking at other solutions to provide high-speed Internet access for other households in the province that currently don’t have access.