Feds and Ontario Detail Massive Rural Internet Rollout, Bell to Get $173 Million Contract

The federal government and province of Ontario have announced new combined funding of over $56 million to bring high speed internet to over 6,500 homes in rural northern and southwestern Ontario, along with First Nation communities (about $8,615/home).

The additional spending is on top of last July’s joint announcement that earmarked over $1.2 billion to bring high speed internet to over 280,000 rural and remote homes in Ontario.

On Tuesday, both the federal and Ontario governments released more details about the internet service providers set to roll out the 28 projects announced in July 2021, as part of $398 million in joint funding to bring internet to 55,800 households across the province ($7,132/home).

“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,” said Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development, in a statement to iPhone in Canada.

A quick look at some of the larger contract details reveals Bell Canada is slated to receive over $173 million to install high speed internet for 28,155 homes, or about roughly $6,144 per home.

Cogeco will receive over $23 million to install high speed internet for 4,482 homes, or roughly $5,131 per household.

Rohl Global Networks Inc. will receive $62.6 million to install high speed for 689 homes, or a whopping $90,856 per home in Aroland, Calstock (Constance Lake), Ginoogaming First Nation, Long Lake #58 First Nation and Wunnumin Lake First Nation.

Keewaytinook Okimakanak will receive $46,637,325 to install high speed for 182 homes in Fort Severn and Peawanuck (Weenusk), which works out to a staggering $256,249.04 per location, according to the government press release shared with iPhone in Canada. We’ve reached out to clarify some of these numbers.

It appears SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet may be more feasible options for setting up high speed in remote and hard-to-reach locations.