Ontario Improving Internet & Cell Phone Service for the NorthJuly 23, 2019
NORTH BAY — Families and businesses in rural and Northern communities can look forward to high-speed internet and better cellphone service as the province releases its first-ever, $315 million plan to improve and expand service.
“Our government is committed to help businesses, families and farms stay connected, no matter where they live,” said Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli. “Our investment will get shovels in the ground, get infrastructure built, and get people and business connected.”
The plan includes a $150 million commitment for a new broadband fund, which will leverage private sector funding along with support from other levels of government, to drive investment and expansion to unserved and underserved communities.
Ontario’s plan is expected to generate up to $1 billion in total investment over five years, resulting in new connections for up to 220,000 homes and businesses. This will lead to community, social and economic benefits well beyond the provincial investment.
“Too many people, especially those living in rural and Northern communities, do not have access to reliable internet access,” said Fedeli. “It means they can’t work from home, stay connected to family and friends, or access public services such as health care and education. In our increasingly digital world, being disconnected means being disadvantaged. This must change.”
- In the 2019 Ontario Budget, the provincial government announced $315 million over the next five years for broadband and cellular expansion.
- Ontario is also addressing barriers to infrastructure expansion by maximizing the use of existing government assets and programs and modernizing government to cut red tape to encourage broadband and cellular expansion.