2.11.43 - “We are […] expanding broadband access across rural and Northern Ontario”
In April 2023, the provincial government launched an interactive map to show where high-speed internet projects were planned, in development, and complete. While there remain a number of projects that are in development, as some have been completed in northern and rural Ontario, and steps have been taken to reduce barriers to implementing high-speed internet projects, this promise is considered kept.
“Our goal is for everyone in Ontario to have access to reliable high-speed internet and cellular connections at home, work and in our communities. We are making an investment of nearly $4 billion to help bring high-speed internet access to every community across the province by the end of 2025. […] Ontario is also helping to speed up construction of high-speed internet projects in communities across the province through the Building Broadband Faster Act, 2021. This legislation will help reduce barriers that can cause delays with building broadband infrastructure in communities and will help provide access to reliable, high-speed internet sooner, while strengthening communities and the economy. “
The 2022 Ontario budget, released under the Ford government during their last term, included resources dedicated to building high-speed broadband infrastructure in rural Ontario. This was supported more recently by agreements made with internet service providers to provide internet across the province. As this infrastructure is being developed now, the promise is in progress.
“Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development — together with Amarjot Sandhu, Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, on behalf of the Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure — announced more than $56 million in combined funding for three projects by Bell and Cogeco to bring high-speed internet access to over 16,000 households in rural communities across eastern Ontario. Bell’s projects are set to be completed between March and December 2025, and Cogeco’s project is set to be completed by March 2024.”
“The province has signed agreements with eight internet service providers to bring access to as many as 339 municipalities across Ontario. The internet service providers were selected through a two-stage competitive process and are part of Ontario’s historic investment of nearly $4 billion to bring access to reliable high-speed internet across the province.”
“Ontario is also helping to speed up construction of high-speed internet projects in communities across the province through the Building Broadband Faster Act, 2021. This legislation will help reduce barriers that can cause delays with building broadband infrastructure in communities and will help provide access to reliable, high-speed internet sooner, while strengthening communities and the economy.”
“[W]e are introducing Ontario’s first-ever broadband and cellular action plan. It outlines why fast and reliable connectivity is critical to delivering on our commitment to make Ontario open for business and jobs. Connected communities attract significant and lasting investments, which boost the local and provincial economy, improving the quality of life for all Ontarians.”