All Canadians, no matter where they live, need reliable and affordable high-speed internet to access essential services, supports and opportunities. That is why the governments of Canada and Ontario, along with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), are taking action to get people living in rural and remote communities connected to high-speed internet.
Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development — together with Amarjot Sandhu, Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, on behalf of the Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure — announced more than $56 million in combined funding for three projects by Bell and Cogeco to bring high-speed internet access to over 16,000 households in rural communities across eastern Ontario. Bell’s projects are set to be completed between March and December 2025, and Cogeco’s project is set to be completed by March 2024.
In July 2021, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced that they had partnered with the CIB to support large-scale fibre-based projects to provide high-speed internet access to more than 280,000 rural and remote households across the province. That historic agreement was made possible by a joint federal-provincial investment totaling more than $1.2 billion. Today’s announcement by the governments of Canada and Ontario and the CIB provides details on three of the projects selected under that agreement.
Today’s announcement builds on the Government of Canada’s progress toward ensuring that 98 per cent of Canadians have access to high-speed internet by 2026, and 100 per cent by 2030. The announcement also brings the Government of Ontario one step closer to achieving its goal of bringing reliable high-speed internet access to every region of the province by the end of 2025.
- The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is a $2.75 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help provide high-speed internet access to 98 per cent of Canadians by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100 per cent access by 2030. Only the hardest-to-reach households may take until 2030.
- Canada’s Connectivity Strategy aims to provide all Canadians with access to internet speeds of at least 50 megabits per second (Mbps) download / 10 Mbps upload.
- On July 29, 2021, a Canada-Ontario broadband partnership was announced. This agreement will bring high-speed internet access to more than 280,000 households across Ontario through a total investment of more than $1.2 billion, co-funded equally by both levels of government.
- The Ontario government has committed over $950 million to nearly 190 broadband, cellular and satellite projects to date, bringing faster internet access to over 375,000 homes and businesses across the province and significantly improving cellular connectivity throughout eastern Ontario.
- Earlier this year, Ontario’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Infrastructure Ontario signed contracts with eight internet service providers to bring high-speed internet access to up to 266,000 homes and businesses across as many as 339 municipalities through the Accelerated High-Speed Internet Program (AHSIP).
- In 2021, Ontario passed the Supporting Broadband and Infrastructure Expansion Act, 2021 to help speed up construction of broadband projects. To build upon this legislation, the Ontario government passed the Getting Ontario Connected Act, 2022, which further reduces barriers, duplication and delays.
- The Canada Infrastructure Bank is improving the commercial viability of broadband projects, allowing connectivity to expand at a quicker pace and larger scale, with lower implementation costs.
“We all know that internet is no longer a luxury in this day and age — it’s a necessity. Access to fast, reliable internet helps rural Canadians by levelling the playing field so they can access essential services like health care and education, participate in the digital economy, or simply connect with loved ones. Our government will continue to work side by side with our partners to achieve our connectivity targets and ensure every Canadian, no matter where they live, has access to high-speed internet by 2030.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings
Minister of Rural Economic Development
“Our government is building a stronger Ontario by delivering on our commitment to achieve 100 per cent connectivity across the province by the end of 2025. These projects will expand high-speed internet access to more unserved and underserved communities across eastern Ontario, and they will ensure Ontarians have the ability to learn, work, participate in the agriculture sector, access critical health services and connect with loved ones.”
– Amarjot Sandhu
Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure
“The Canada Infrastructure Bank is committed to expanding broadband service in rural Ontario. Our investment will help finance essential infrastructure for residents, create new economic opportunities and support public services. A tremendous opportunity exists to expand broadband networks by collaborating with internet service providers, and the CIB is part of the solution to connect more Canadians.”
– Ehren Cory
CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank
“Connecting our communities for work, school, social and entertainment needs is a top priority at Cogeco. That’s why we are proud to partner with the governments of Canada and Ontario to bring our world-class high-speed internet to more residents and businesses in the areas of Greenhurst-Thurstonia, Omemee and Pleasant Point. We are proud to be your local connection.”
– Matt Wickham
Vice President and General Manager, Customer Experience and B2B, Cogeco
“At a time when fast and reliable internet connections are more important than ever, we’re proud to partner with the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to expand our all-fibre broadband network to even more communities across Ontario. Through our own fully funded investments and through partnerships like this, Bell continues to deliver on our goal of advancing how Canadians connect with each other and the world.”
– Bruce Furlong
Senior Vice-President, Access Engineering and Deployment, Bell Canada
SOURCE Province of Ontario