Feds, Ontario to Spend $219 Million for Rogers to Expand Rural Internet

The federal government and Ontario have announced a joint investment of over $219 million to expand high-speed Internet access to underserved communities across the province.

Anita Anand, President of the Treasury Board, and Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario made the announcement on Monday morning, joined alongside Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, and Donna Skelly, Member of Provincial Parliament for Flamborough–Glanbrook.

The entire $219 million contract is heading towards Rogers, to expand high-speed internet to 66,000 households in over 300 Ontario communities, including over 600 Indigenous households ($3,318/household).

“Working with Rogers, we will help connect more than 66,000 underserved households in over 300 rural communities in Ontario, including over 600 Indigenous households. Our government will continue to work side by side with our partners to achieve our connectivity targets and ensure that every Canadian, no matter where they live, has access to high-speed Internet,” said Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, in a statement.

This latest investment is an extension of an existing Canada-Ontario broadband partnership announced in July 2021. That agreement, backed by a joint federal-provincial investment of more than $1.2 billion, aims to support large-scale, fibre-based projects that will extend high-speed Internet access to more than 280,000 households across Ontario.

“Access to reliable high-speed Internet is critical for residents in Ontario today to stay connected with friends and family, and for businesses to operate and grow,” said Ron McKenzie, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Rogers.

The government of Canada has an ambitious goal to ensure that 98% of Canadians have access to high-speed Internet by 2026, and 100% by 2030. It also brings the Government of Ontario closer to its target of providing reliable high-speed Internet access to every community in the province by the end of 2025.

Rogers is not the only major telecom benefitting from the feds and Ottawa for the expansion of rural high-speed internet. Bell also has received contracts for millions to do the same.

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