Rural communities in eastern Ontario will benefit from faster Internet

News release

Residents in 21 communities to get new or faster Internet access thanks to a $36-million investment

July 25, 2018, Corbyville, Ontario

Internet access is more than just a convenience: communities, businesses and institutions need it to offer new services and create new opportunities. That’s why, through an investment of over $10.8 million, the Government of Canada is helping 21 communities and up to 38 institutions in eastern Ontario get online with new or improved high-speed Internet access. Of the 21 communities that will benefit from this investment, one is an Indigenous community.

The funding for Xplornet Communications Inc. was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, together with Mike Bossio, Member of Parliament for Hastings–Lennox and Addington, and Neil R. Ellis, Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte, at the Signal Brewing Company in Corbyville.

This investment will help residents of these communities connect with family and friends, do business online, participate in distance education and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age.

To date, the Government of Canada has invested close to $54 million to bring high-speed Internet to Ontario’s rural and remote communities under Connect to Innovate.

The Government of Canada’s $500-million Connect to Innovate program is investing in building the digital backbone of high-speed Internet networks. Backbone networks are the digital highways that move data in and out of communities. These highways carry large amounts of data that are essential for schools, hospitals, libraries and businesses to function in a digital world.


“Access to high-speed Internet is not a luxury; it’s essential. High-speed Internet service is a basic tool that all Canadians should have access to, regardless of where they live. Our communities need this service to do business, upgrade their education and build stronger communities. Thanks to our Connect to Innovate program, more people will be able to participate fully in the digital economy.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“At Xplornet we have a simple mission: we want rural Canadians, wherever they choose to live, to be able to connect to what matters. In order to continue to innovate and consistently deliver fast, reliable Internet service for rural Canadians, Xplornet requires access to a robust fibre backbone network. We thank the Government for this initiative and look forward to working with them to improve Internet speed and capacity in eastern Ontario.”
– Allison Lenehan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Xplornet Communications Inc

“In my travels across our large rural riding, I have seen so many entrepreneurs and community organizations that have the talent and the passion to compete on a global scale, but they need the tools to do so. Today’s investment will unleash their potential to innovate and will level the playing field. Our government understands how important Internet connectivity is to sustaining our rural communities, and I am proud of today’s demonstration of our commitment.”
Mike Bossio, Member of Parliament for Hastings–Lennox and Addington

“Technology has become a very prominent part of our community and of staying connected, whether that’s through our innovative businesses or personal connections. Technology is a necessary part of daily life. Our government is delivering Connect to Innovate funding to help hardwire our communities to achieve the best accessibility possible.”
– Neil R. Ellis, Member of Parliament for Bay of Quinte

Quick facts

  • Of the $36 million invested in eastern Ontario communities:

  • Connect to Innovate is one of several Government of Canada measures to improve telecommunications services for Canadians. Others are a $100-million investment to improve coverage and connectivity in rural areas with low-earth-orbit satellites; Connecting Families, an initiative that will provide many low-income Canadians with low-cost Internet and up to 50,000 computers to eligible households through the Computer for Schools program; a five-year plan for wireless spectrum release to promote competition and help drive down prices for Canadians and deliver better quality and coverage; and consultations to prepare Canada for 5G, the next generation of high-quality wireless systems that will enable e-health, connected cars and smart cities.

  • Connect to Innovate is part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class.

Associated links


Follow the department on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Mallory Clyne
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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