Feds, Ontario to Spend $56 Million for Bell and Cogeco to Expand Rural Internet

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the province of Ontario announced on Wednesday it plans to invest over $56 million to expand high-speed internet in rural parts of the province.

Bell and Cogeco are the recipients of three projects to expand high-speed internet to over 16,000 homes across rural eastern Ontario ($3,500 per home), over the next three years.

The projects will be completed by Bell between March and December 2025, while Cogeco’s will be finished by March 2024.

“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,” said Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, in an issued statement.

Funding is coming from the federal government, the province of Ontario and the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB).

By 2026, the federal government wants to have high-speed internet for 98% of Canadians, funded by the $2.75 billion investment in the Universal Broadband Fund.

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