Announcing Ontario’s first-ever $315 million plan to improve and expand service to help people stay connected, Premier Doug Ford today revealed that businesses and families in rural and remote communities of the province will soon enjoy high-speed internet and better cell phone service.
“Our government is committed to helping businesses, families, and farms stay connected – no matter where they live,” said Ford. The plan, which includes a $150 million commitment for a new broadband fund, will leverage private sector funding along with support from other levels of government, he explained.
Ford, who was also joined by Laurie Scott, Minister of Infrastructure and Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, highlighted that the plan is expected to generate up to $1 billion in total investment over five years, resulting in new connections for up to 220,000 homes and businesses:
“Too many people, especially those living in rural and remote communities, do not have access to reliable internet access,” said Scott. “It means they can’t work from home, stay connected to family and friends, or access public services such as health care and education. In our increasingly digital world, being disconnected means being disadvantaged. This must change.”
The province has committed $71 million toward the $213 million Eastern Ontario Regional Network project to improve cellular and mobile broadband in up to 99% of the region.