Province injects cash into high-speed connection

Staff

An estimated total of $150.2 million in provincial funding is going toward bringing high-speed Internet to the Rainy River District and surrounding area.

As part of the Ontario government’s recently-announced eight signed agreements, Greg Rickford, Kenora–Rainy River MPP announced signed agreements with two internet service providers Friday.

A press release from Rickford’s office estimates up to 9,397 unserved and undeserved homes and businesses in this project area can be assisted.

“It’s no secret that northern Ontario has lacked access to high-speed internet with limited connectivity in many remote communities,” said Rickford. “Our government recognizes the importance of broadband for education, job creation, and economic growth to keep our northern communities connected, and we are proud to support these critical infrastructure projects.”

The release says this area’s service will be provided by Community Network Partners, while the second, larger area — also in northern Ontario — will be provided by Bell thanks to another $483.8 million in provincial funding.

Community Network Partners catchment area is set to assist the following municipalities: Alberton, Atikokan, Blind River, Chapple, Coleman, Dawson, Dubreuilville, Elliot Lake, Emo, Fort Frances, Gauthier, Greenstone, Harley, Harris, Hilton, Hornepayne, Hudson, Huron Shores, James, Jocelyn, Johnson, Kerns, Kirkland Lake, La Vallee, Laird, Macdonald, Meredith and Aberdeen Additional, Matchewan, Morley, Nipigon, Plummer Additional, Rainy River, Spanish, St. Joseph, Tarbutt, Temiskaming Shores, The North Shore, Thessalon, Wawa, and White River.

The release says this move marks another milestone in the government’s plan to help connect every corner of the province by the end of 2025.

“Our government is ensuring every community in Ontario has access to reliable high-speed internet,” said Kinga Surma, minister of infrastructure. “We are making tremendous progress towards building a stronger Ontario where everyone will have access to health services, be able to work and learn online, participate in the agriculture sector while also helping to create jobs and invest in the future of our province today, and for generations to come.”

This funding is part of a $4-billion investment for reliable high-speed internet across Ontario. The province has signed agreements with eight service providers to bring access to as many as 339 municipalities across Ontario.

Minister Rickford’s release says the provincial government has a plan to build Ontario’s future with shovels in the ground for highways, hospitals, housing and high-speed internet infrastructure.

“Ontario’s high-speed internet initiatives will help ensure that every home and business, in every community, can participate in today’s economy,” said the release.

To date, the Ontario government has committed over $950 million to nearly 190 broadband, cellular and satellite projects, bringing faster internet access to over 375,000 homes and businesses across the province.