Categories: International

Canada – Governments of Canada and Ontario announce more than $56 million in new funding to bring high-speed Internet access to thousands of more households

Over 6,500 households in rural and First Nation communities to benefit from the funding to increase access to high-speed Internet

April 19, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario

Over 6,500 households in rural and First Nation communities to benefit from the funding to increase access to high-speed Internet

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, on behalf of the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, together with the Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, announced more than $56 million in combined new federal and provincial funding for six projects to bring high-speed Internet access to over 6,500 households in rural northern and southwestern Ontario, as well as in First Nation communities.

These new projects build on an existing relationship between Ontario and Canada. On July 29, 2021, the governments announced their partnership to support large-scale, fibre-based projects that will provide high-speed Internet access to more than 280,000 rural and remote households across the province. This historic agreement was made possible by a joint federal-provincial investment totalling more than $1.2 billion.

Today, the governments of Canada and Ontario also announced additional details, including Internet service providers, for 28 projects that were announced in July 2021, under this agreement, which will provide more than $398 million in joint funding to bring high-speed Internet access to more than 50,000 households in regions across Ontario.

Today’s announcements build on the Government of Canada’s progress toward ensuring that 98 percent of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026, and 100 percent by 2030. The announcements also bring 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. As we work to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic and grow the economy, the federal and provincial governments will continue to make investments in infrastructure to build strong communities and a more competitive and resilient Ontario and Canada for everyone.

Through its broadband initiative, the Canada Infrastructure Bank is collaborating with the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to improve the commercial viability of projects.

“We need to close the connection gap and ensure that every nook and cranny of Ontario has access to reliable high-speed Internet—whether that’s in Oil Springs or Carlsbad Springs or all the way on the shores of Lake Superior. Today’s announcement of more than $56 million in new funding to connect over 6,500 rural households in the province is a milestone for Ontarians. Investments like these help create jobs, improve access to health care and online learning services, and keep us connected to our loved ones. The Government of Canada will continue to make investments like these to help achieve our national target of connecting 98 percent of Canadians by 2026 and 100 percent by 2030.”
– The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development

“People’s lives are moving more and more online. This is a challenge for communities in Ontario that are without access to high-speed Internet. These investments made by our government will allow for increased access to education, health care, business opportunities and social connections. Communities will have the tools to more fully participate in social programs and economic opportunities, improving the health and well-being of the region.”
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario

“Expanding broadband service allows Canadians to better use public services like health care and education and creates new economic opportunities across Ontario’s rural communities. Unlocking the potential of large-scale broadband expansion by collaborating with Internet service providers is a tremendous opportunity and the CIB is part of the solution to connect more Canadians.”
– Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank

“The Ontario government is ensuring every community across the province has access to reliable high-speed Internet by the end of 2025. By working together with our federal partners and Internet service providers, we are increasing access to high-speed Internet and building a stronger foundation for Ontario’s economic growth and prosperity. We are ensuring that the agriculture sector and all families, workers and businesses have a better and brighter future. No one will be left behind.”
– The Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure

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.

The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) is a $2.75 billion investment by the Government of Canada designed to help connect 98 percent of Canadians to high-speed Internet by 2026 and achieve the national target of 100 percent connectivity by 2030. Only the hardest-to-reach households may take until 2030 to get connected.

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 with a total investment of more than $1.2 billion, co-funded equally by both levels of government.

In 2021, Ontario announced projects in regions across the province, including six projects that will serve northern Ontario and 17 projects led exclusively by the province under the Improving Connectivity for Ontario program.

Another part of Ontario’s plan to achieve 100 percent access to connectivity for all regions across the province is a new competitive process led by Infrastructure Ontario to help connect more homes and businesses in unserved and underserved communities.

The governments of Canada and Ontario have each committed up to $71 million through a partnership with the Eastern Ontario Regional Network to help improve cellular service in eastern Ontario. 

The Government of Ontario is investing more than $63 million in the Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology project to help bring high-speed Internet access to more than 58,000 homes, farms and businesses across southwestern Ontario. The province has also invested in high-speed Internet projects to support connectivity in rural and northern Ontario, including through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation and through the Next Generation Network Program.

Luka Vujic
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Rural Economic Development
343-571-9582
luka.vujic@ised-isde.gc.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
media@ised-isde.gc.ca

Hayley Cooper
Office of the Honourable Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure
hayley.cooper@ontario.ca

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