Private Partnership Aims to Reduce Cellular Dead Zones in Eastern Ontario

The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) has proposed a $213 million (CAD) public-private partnership that would reduce the number of cellular dead zones throughout the region.

The EORN is seeking support from both the provincial and federal governments to fill the gaps in cellular coverage in Eastern Ontario. The proposal was submitted today to Ontario Infrastructure Minister Bob Chiarelli and Rural Affairs Minister Jeff Leal.

According to an engineering study commissioned by the non-profit organization:

  • About one quarter of the area where there are homes, businesses or major roads in the region cannot access any cellular services.
  • Depending on the cell carrier, another 28% to 40% of the area has inadequate capacity to provide high quality mobile broadband service given the demand, which continues to grow.

The gaps in cellular service stem from market failure in rural areas that don’t generate enough revenue to support the development of adequate services. The partnership would reduce carrier costs when building out the required infrastructure.

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