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Classified in: Science and technology
Subjects: CPG, CFG

Expanding high-speed Internet access in Northern Ontario


Combined federal and provincial investment of over $97 million will connect more than 18,600 homes to high-speed Internet

SUDBURY, ON, June 24, 2024 /CNW/ - Fairness for every generation means making sure everyone in Canada has access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet, no matter where they live. That is why the governments of Canada and Ontario are bringing high-speed Internet access to underserved communities?including Indigenous communities?in Ontario.

Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and Amarjot Sandhu, Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure, on behalf of the Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure, announced over $97 million in combined federal and provincial funding for ROCK Networks, a PomeGran group company. The project will bring high-speed Internet access to more than 60 communities along the north shore of Lake Huron between Sudbury, Huron Shores and Sault Ste. Marie, and on Manitoulin Island. It will serve 18,600 households, including over 2,500 Indigenous households. Minister Hutchings and Parliamentary Assistant Sandhu were joined by Viviane Lapointe, Member of Parliament for Sudbury; Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Seniors; and Marc G. Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Official Languages.

The project being announced today is part of an existing partnership between Ontario and Canada. On July 29, 2021, the governments announced a Canada?Ontario broadband partnership to support large?scale, fibre-based projects that will provide high-speed Internet access to nearly 280,000 households across the province. This historic agreement was made possible by a joint federal?provincial investment totalling more than $1.2 billion.

Everyone in Canada will have access to high-speed Internet by 2030, and 98% of Canadians will be connected by 2026. Canada is on track to meet its 2026 connectivity targets. These projects will contribute to reaching that goal, and the government will continue to invest in infrastructure that creates new opportunities in communities to make sure they can benefit from all of Canada's potential. The announcement also brings the Government of Ontario closer to achieving its goal of bringing reliable high-speed Internet access to every community across the province by the end of 2025.

Quotes

"High-speed Internet is no longer considered just a luxury. The federal funding committed today will bring reliable high-speed Internet to more than 18,600 underserved homes in communities across Northern Ontario. Communities large and small need to have a reliable connection so they can grow their potential in this digital world."
? The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

"Every community deserves access to reliable and affordable high-speed Internet. Our government has been delivering on its promise to ensure every Canadian from coast to coast to coast has access, no matter where they live. As Chair of the Northern Ontario Caucus, I have heard first-hand from communities across Northern Ontario about the need for equitable service, and this investment brings us one step closer to ensuring every single Canadian has access to high-speed Internet by 2030."
? Viviane Lapointe, Member of Parliament for Sudbury

"I am proud that our government is taking action to bring high-speed connectivity to the Algoma District and Northern Ontario. In a digitally connected world, rapid and reliable access is essential everywhere. The funding announced today will help connect us for doing business, accessing health care and education, and building community."
? Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Seniors

"The Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) continues to make a positive difference for Nickel Belt and Northern Ontario, significantly enhancing connectivity and supporting economic growth. Through today's investment and past UBF projects, we've empowered local businesses, improved access to essential services and enriched the quality of life for residents. This is another step in ensuring no community is left behind as we build a more inclusive and connected future for all."
? Marc G. Serré, Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Official Languages

"Today's announcement builds on our government's unwavering commitment to bring reliable high-speed Internet access to every community across the province, including Indigenous communities, by the end of 2025. By continuing to invest in key infrastructure like high-speed Internet, we are building a stronger Ontario and helping to ensure that no one is left behind, no matter where they live."
? The Honourable Kinga Surma, Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure

"Thanks to a combined investment of over $97 million from the governments of Canada and Ontario, residents of Huron Shores and Manitoulin Island will have the tools they need to succeed in today's digital world. This investment brings us another step closer to fulfilling our government's ambitious goal of delivering reliable high-speed Internet access to every community across Ontario by the end of 2025."
? Amarjot Sandhu, Parliamentary Assistant to Ontario's Minister of Infrastructure

"The government's funding is a game-changer for connectivity in Huron Shores and Manitoulin Island. Beyond connecting households, it paves the way for educational opportunities, telemedicine advancements and thriving local businesses. It's about building a stronger, more connected community for generations to come."
? Georges Bilodeau, Chairperson of H&M COFI Corporation

"This investment is a testament to our commitment to bridging the digital divide in rural and Indigenous communities. With an open-access network, we aim to make high-speed Internet more accessible and affordable, driving economic growth and innovation in the region."
? Joe Hickey, President and Founder of ROCK Networks and President of PomeGran

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SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada


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